Arsenal manager Unai Emery has called on Granit Xhaka to apologise to Arsenal fans – but insists no decision has been made over whether he will retain the captaincy.
Xhaka clashed with his own supporters when he was jeered after being substituted during the draw with Crystal Palace.
The midfielder reacted angrily when fans cheered his substitution, cupping his ear before appearing to tell supporters to ‘f*** off’.
Emery confirmed he had spoken to his player and revealed Xhaka will not be involved in the Carabao Cup clash with Liverpool, reports Mirror.
He admits the Swiss star is “devastated” by the incident, which leaves his future at the Emirates looking bleak.
“It’s not easy for him and for the team. He is now devastated, sad. We spoke yesterday and Sunday night and this morning.
“He trained normally with the group but he is devastated. He is sad about that situation.
“His commitment is great every time. He wants to help. His behaviour was perfect in training, with the group and club. Really he knows he was wrong.
“He feels inside, very deep. It’s normal as a human. Every player needs the supporters’ support.
“We are going through a difficult moment and it is our work and job to play under that pressure.
“The supporters are the most important.
“He is down and the most important is to look after him and his family and recover our best Granit Xhaka.
“After that wrong situation on Sunday, I have one challenge for myself and every player – when the supporters aren’t happy, we need to show a better performance and result for them.
“If we do that, they will support us collectively and individually.”
Should he have apologised?
“Yes. I think when we make an individual mistake, we need to make an apology.
“That is what I prefer to do and what we suggested for him to do?”
Should we expect an apology?
“What is the most important, is that he is devastated. We need our family, our friends, our supporters to support and love us.
“He is not feeling that with the supporters.
“We are speaking with him, be close with your family and us, and we will try to be closer with our supporters.
“Little by little, it is a step we are taking in this moment.”
Is he the right man to be captain?
“I explained why I selected him as that.
“He has those values, he has experience, he is captain of his national team has the conditions to be the captain.
“I decided that because the players respected that.
“He was wrong on Sunday and it wasn’t the right response of a captain.
Will he stay as Captain?
“Step by step, first we will recover him, as a human and a player.
“Then we will speak about how we can improve and forward with him and the team.
“At the moment I’m not speaking and I don’t want to think about that.”