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'Both sides overreacted' - Xhaka eager to put fall out with Arsenal supporters behind him

12:20 BST 29/04/2020
Granit Xhaka Arsenal 2019-20
The Swiss midfielder has opened up on the incident which saw him stripped of his captaincy duties earlier in the season

Granit Xhaka insists his fallout with Arsenal supporters during a clash with Crystal Palace was a "misunderstanding", and he is now eager to "look ahead" and focus on his future at Emirates Stadium.

Xhaka's time at Arsenal appeared to be ending after he reacted angrily to abuse from the stands while being substituted during a 2-2 home draw against Palace back in October.

The 27-year-old told fans to "f*ck off" before making his way down the tunnel, and was subsequently relieved of the captain's armband by Unai Emery.

The Spanish head coach also dropped the Switzerland international after the incident, but he has gradually rebuilt his career at the Emirates since the arrival of Mikel Arteta, who inherited the managerial reigns in December.

Arteta made it clear that Xhaka was an important part of his plans going forward, and the midfielder has been a regular in Arsenal's starting line up since the new year.

Xhaka says he had never experienced such "hatred" from his own supporters before, but admits he was also guilty of overreacting and is now eager to put the whole ugly episode behind him.

“These whistles against me, this hatred, that was brand new for me," the Arsenal star told Sport 1. “What happened happened. You cannot undo it. Maybe it was a misunderstanding and both sides overreacted to some extent.

“That's done for me, you have to look ahead now, motivate yourself positively in the current situation and don't get caught up in the negative.

“As I wrote in my statement back then, as a team, the club and the fans, we should work together hand in hand towards the next game and the challenges ahead with mutual respect and in memory of what makes us love this game.”

Hertha Berlin was touted as the most likely next destination for Xhaka after he was linked with a move away from Arsenal in January, but he opted to remain in north London having already begun to repair relations with the fans.

“It was really no longer an issue for me," he added. “Yes, there was contact and also an offer, but in the end, I decided to stay here in London.

‘After three and a half years I did not cancel everything that I had built up. I am now concentrating on this with all my strength and motivation and hope that we can get back on the pitch soon.”