Unai Emery has revealed Granit Xhaka may never play for Arsenal again following conversations over whether he should be sold in January.
The Switzerland international has not featured for the Gunners since his furious outburst in last month’s draw with Crystal Palace, which saw him stripped of the captaincy by Emery.
“Not yet,” Emery said when quizzed on whether Xhaka was ready to return this weekend.
“I spoke with him on Tuesday for how he is feeling now and his mind because he is training well, but he said to me he can’t play. We are going to wait.”
Pushed on whether Xhaka may never play for Arsenal again, he added: “As a coach I have a responsibility for the team. We need a player like Granit Xhaka.
“But also, I don’t know if he’s going to play again. I don’t know, because if he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continuing defending the Arsenal shirt, I think time is giving us that solution.
“And then, if I decide he is in the group with us, if he is ready and 100 per cent in his mind with the decision to help us and to play with his quality helping us. Because we know we need that quality and that player.
“Yes, I asked that question [whether he should be sold in January],” Emery added.
“The club knows the player’s decision at the moment and my decision or my idea about that situation and the circumstances.
Arsenal travel to Leicester this weekend for a crucial game in the race for top four, with the Foxes currently six points ahead of the Gunners after their fine start to the season.
The match, which kicks off at 5:30pm, will be brought to you LIVE on talkSPORT as the third and final commentary of our GameDay coverage.
Emery also discussed other topics during his press conference, and you can read the best bits, below…
On Arsenal’s home form
“We haven’t lost at home, we have dropped points but did not lose.
“We can feel really strong at home with good performances and results and we are going to extend that to away.”
On giving the captaincy to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
“The first captain is Aubameyang because he is experienced and he has the respect of the dressing room.
“He was the top scorer last year in the league and I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100 per cent, but we will support him.
“Every player will support every captain and we are going to support him as first captain.”
On the defence
“We need to improve but we are also in one process, but a lot of things are happening.
“We are talking about the captaincy, then circumstances with some players like [Sead] Kolasinac and [Mesut] Ozil which does not help.
“But I have confidence with the players and our work.”
LIVE on talkSPORT
Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week
- Nottingham Forest vs Derby (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Southampton vs Everton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Leicester vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Cardiff vs Bristol City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
On whether Mesut Ozil will play vs Leicester
“He is training well and I think he is now being consistent in the training, he is also helping and positive.
“I am thinking he has a possibility to play tomorrow.”
On Leicester’s form this season
“They have started the season with big confidence and they are getting good results and now they have six points more than us.
“Tomorrow is a very big challenge and a very good opportunity.”
On Dani Ceballos
“Ceballos has a small injury and he is going to be out for tomorrow.
“The rest of the squad, I think they are ready for tomorrow.”
Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network, including Leicester vs Arsenal at 5:30pm
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