Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has said that he is ready to play again for the club following a public row with fans during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last month.
Xhaka, who opted out of a return before his side’s 2-0 loss to Leicester City on Saturday, has not played for the club since he reacted angrily to being booed by Arsenal fans at the Emirates Stadium in their draw with Palace on Oct. 27.
“I feel that [the incident] has been dealt with and I’m ready [to return],” the Switzerland international told Swiss newspaper Blick.
Xhaka, who was removed as club captain last week, again critisced fans for booing him when he was substituted saying: “If the team and I don’t play well, we have to listen and work on it. But insulting and swearing at your own captain will cause upset and a bad atmosphere for the team you are actually supposed to be supporting.
“That makes no sense to me and weakens the team’s spirit.
“Their criticism, when it’s fair, makes you grow as an athlete. But at a time you are already experiencing a lot of hostility and your own football family insults you, it hurts a lot.
“Let’s face it, we’re talking about football and a captaincy. I know that means the world to a lot of people here in London. But we’re at a point now where I have to say clearly that we ought to take stock and make sure that things are not getting completely out of hand.”
Xhaka said that some of his teammates came to his home after the game to console him, adding that the abuse he has received on social media has been “abnormal and excessive.”
“The rules of common decency and respect are obviously no longer valid for a lot of people,” he added.
“Without any consequences you can now stir up hatred against private individuals or people in the public sphere such as musicians, actors or also athletes if an opinion or a performance isn’t to your liking.”
Xhaka is set to play for Switzerland in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia on Friday.
Arsenal next play home to Southampton in the Premier League on Nov. 23.