Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes his encouragement has convinced Granit Xhaka to remain at the club after the midfielder reportedly agreed a move to Hertha Berlin.
Arteta, 37, appears to have had a positive effect early on in his managerial career and has helped Arsenal clinch successive domestic wins for the first time since September.
Convincing Xhaka to turn back on any exit plans could be another significant feat, and Arteta told reporters he was ready to “push the club to be supportive” of his anchor, adding: "I tried to convince him that way. He thought about it, he had a very positive response afterwards, and I think he changed his mind.”
Xhaka’s agent, Jose Noguera, said in late December that his client had a deal in place to return to the Bundesliga in January with Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha, per Sky Sports News.
The player’s career at the Emirates Stadium was thrown into major doubt after he reacted angrily to his own fans’ boos during a 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace on October 27. Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy after he appeared to tell his supporters to “f—k off” while being substituted.
The Switzerland international was one of numerous first-team stars at the Emirates said to be agitating for an exit after the club recently went on a nightmarish run of one win in 15 games.
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney wrote in December that Xhaka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were among those thought to be seeking a departure.