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Unai Emery says 'extraordinary footballer' finally looks like he's enjoying at Arsenal

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has had his say on Granit Xhaka and why the Swiss international deserves the respect of the people.

One of the most controversial things to ever happen at Arsenal came in Emery’s tenure. Xhaka had a huge altercation with supporters at the Emirates, threw his captain’s armband on the floor and stormed off the pitch.

The then Arsenal boss stripped Xhaka of his captaincy and it looked almost certain that he would leave the club. Emery was sacked soon after, Mikel Arteta came in and the Swiss international fully revived his career under his new manager.

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Emery was asked about his thoughts on Xhaka yesterday. The former Arsenal boss labelled him as an ‘extraordinary footballer and a doubly extraordinary person’ and claimed that he is glad that the midfielder is enjoying his time at the Emirates now.

He said, as per HaytersTV: “My experience with Granit in a year and a half is total acknowledgement to the person and total acknowledgement to the footballer. He deserves to be at a club like Arsenal and he deserves the respect of the people.

“He’s an extraordinary footballer and he’s a doubly extraordinary person. I’m really glad that he is enjoying at Arsenal and Arsenal are enjoying him because of the commitment he has with Arsenal – he had it with Arsene, he had with me and I can see it with Arteta. I have a lot of respect and admiration for him.”

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The Insider’s View:

Xhaka continues to divide the Arsenal fan base but you would be lying to yourself if you didn’t think he is our most important midfielder.

Without the Swiss international in the side, Arsenal often look clueless. That is why Arteta has barely given Xhaka a break in recent weeks, and it doesn’t look like he will get one anytime soon either.

With Kieran Tierney back in training, there is a good chance Xhaka will return to his natural midfield role tonight. That will make Arsenal considerably stronger, which is bad news for Emery, who knows very well what the Swiss star is capable of.

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