‘I know how he is feeling’: Granit Xhaka expresses his sympathy for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy, with midfielder tipping his team-mate to return ‘better than before’
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lost the Arsenal captaincy after reporting back late
- The striker has since been frozen out of the first-team by manager Mikel Arteta
- His team-mate, Granit Xhaka, has revealed he feels sympathy for Aubameyang
Granit Xhaka has admitted he knows how Arsenal team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is feeling after the striker was stripped of the captaincy.
Aubameyang saw the armband ripped off of him by Mikel Arteta this month after his latest brush with ill-discipline, having arrived back late from a trip to see his mother.
For now, Alexandre Lacazette has replaced him, and midfielder Xhaka feels empathy for the frontman – having suffered a similar punishment himself in 2019.
Granit Xhaka expressed sympathy for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after losing his captaincy
‘I have been in this situation and I know how he is feeling,’ Xhaka told The Athletic. ‘Mine is a different story, with different problems to Auba.
‘Sometimes, maybe, this is not a step back but is a step forward. I think Auba is strong enough and has enough experience to be back and to be better than before.
‘I believe everything happens for a reason. It doesn’t have to be something to bring you down.
Aubameyang saw his responsibilities at Arsenal taken off him after he returned late from a trip
‘You have to think positive and believe you can turn it around. I believe he can.
‘I had some very, very dark days and nights. Everyone can run away. That’s so simple, you open the door and walk out. But I was never that type of person.
‘I knew I was the right person for this football club. I want to give them something. I will do everything for this football club to win games and with a lot of passion.’
Aubameyang has been frozen out of the first-team, as reported by Sportsmail, a move which has seen him sit out for the last five matches in all competitions.
Xhaka says his ‘strong’ team-mate Aubameyang can ‘be better than before’ when he returns
However, Arsenal have since clicked into superb form, having scored 19 goals under manager Arteta since their first-choice No 9 was banished.
Xhaka, meanwhile, was dethroned by Unai Emery two years ago after being involved in an altercation with the club’s own supporters following a draw with Crystal Palace.
Since then, though, he has worked his way back into Arteta’s plans and has been a mainstay when fit across the course of the current campaign.
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