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Granit Xhaka's redemption story was completed with a spine-tingling reception after Chelsea game

Granit Xhaka's redemption story was completed with a spine-tingling reception after Chelsea game

It is quite the redemption story for the club's former captain.

Arsenal supporters gave Granit Xhaka a raucous reception as the midfielder was being interviewed on the pitch following the Gunners’ 1-0 victory over fierce rivals Chelsea on Sunday.

A second-half goal from Gabriel proved to be the difference between the two sides at Stamford Bridge as Mikel Arteta’s side returned to the top of the Premier League table.

The result means Arsenal have now beaten three of the traditional big six so far this season in what is already proving to be an impressive campaign for Arteta’s young team.

And key to that success has been the inspired performances of the experienced Switzerland international, who has scored four goals and provided three assists in all competitions this term.

The once holding player has found new life as a box-to-box midfielder, and the fans now seem to have taken to the 30-year-old’s unwavering, uncompromising passion and commitment, as evidenced during his expletive-filled post-match chat with BT Sport’s Des Kelly at the weekend.

In response to a rendition of 'We've Got Granit Xhaka' from the travelling faithful, Xhaka turned to Kelly and said: "You see the atmosphere, it's f**king unbelievable!"

And his slip of the tongue appears to have gone down very well online, with one fan writing: “Love that passion Granit.”

While another posted: “"Player with a bit of personality and not giving the standard media-trained interview. A true leader."

The appreciation of Xhaka from the Arsenal supporters this season is a stark contrast to three years ago, however, when he was booed off the pitch during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace and threw his shirt to the ground in anger.

He was subsequently stripped of the captaincy and looked destined to be on his way out of the club before Arteta convinced him to stay.

His disciplinary record at Arsenal makes for rather alarming reading but the Gunners’ boss appears to be getting the very best – and, crucially, a more mature – version of him this term, with no red cards and only two cautions to his name in the Premier League.

It completes a remarkable redemption arc for Xhaka, who has captained Arsenal several times this season already and looks set to wear the armband for his country at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this month, where Switzerland will face Serbia, Cameroon, and one of the tournament favourites Brazil in Group G.

Meanwhile, it was an unhappy reunion with Arsenal for Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The former Gunners skipper left Arsenal for Barcelona earlier this year but returned to English football with the Blues in the summer.


And his performance against his old club left a lot to be desired, touching the ball just eight times and making three successful passes before being replaced by Armando Broja just after the hour mark.

The Gabon international scored on average a goal every two games during his four-year stint in North London, but has so far found the net just three times in all competitions for Graham Potter’s team.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, Granit Xhaka, Premier League, Mikel Arteta, Chelsea, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang