Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has once again given Mikel Arteta his vote of confidence amid a disappointing season so far for the Gunners.
The north London side were comfortably beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on Sunday, and showed few signs of putting up an attacking fight.
Arsenal now lie down in 11th place in the Premier League, and pressure is mounting on Arteta as a place in Europe next season slips away.
But ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Benfica, controversial figure Xhaka, who has seen a resurgence in his career under Arteta, has once again given the Spaniard his full backing.
“Everyone knows he is one of the reasons why I am still at this club,” he said. “We have a great relationship.”
Xhaka also spoke about his recent form, having seen out the full 90 minutes of all of Arsenal’s matches since the turn of the year.
“It’s not a surprise that I am playing under every coach,” he added. “That means I am doing something good.
“I am a team player I’m not selfish. I try to help the team and help the staff and to be an example for the young people in our dressing room.”
Xhaka also took the chance to show his loyalty to Arsenal, insisting that he plans to stay at the Emirates for many years, despite his strained relationship with fans at times.
“If I’m honest I always saw myself in this club,” the Swiss continued. “I didn’t come to this club for two or three years, I came here for long-term.”
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“Of course you never know what happens in football. After what happened with the fans one year ago nobody was thinking I would still be here and speak with you guys.
“This is football. Sometimes things happen, you are very surprised but the good thing is how you come back.”