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Unai Emery responds to Arsenal fans after Granit Xhaka is booed during Aston Villa win

Granit Xhaka was booed by Arsenal fans at the Emirates on Sunday (Picture: Getty)

Unai Emery has offered his backing to Granit Xhaka after the midfielder was booed by sections of Arsenals support during Sundays 3-2 victory over Aston Villa.

The 26-year-old was replaced by Joe Willock with 18 minutes remaining as Arsenal trailed 2-1 at the Emirates and he was jeered by fans as he made his way off the pitch.

Xhaka has captained Arsenal this season following the summer departure of Laurent Koscielny but he has struggled for form during the opening weeks of the campaign.

Emery is adamant, though, that Xhaka is an important part of his plans and urged the fans to show him and his teammates support moving forward.

Unai Emery shakes hands with Granit Xhaka during Arsenal training
Unai Emery has offered his support to Granit Xhaka (Picture: Getty)

Speaking post-match, Emry said: My opinion is we need our supporters and we need our supporters helping each player but our responsibility is to transmit our capacity, our spirit, our commitment and behaviour. And Xhaka is doing that.

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He played very well on Thursday and also last week in Watford he played with a good individual performance. Today I changed him because on Thursday he played 90 minutes and [I] prefer to use fresh players for today a chance for him but for me Xhaka is a very good player for us.

He has a very big commitment here. He is improving and I am not asking the people to support him but I am sure that he is going to achieve the best thing individually and collectively for the supporters to help him.

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When asked whether Xhaka was hurt by the criticism, Emery responded: We are professionals. The coach and the players. Xhaka is an experienced player and he knows that sometimes we can say criticism.

We need to be mature and experienced to continue working and the next match is another challenge for the team, individually also, to do our work and really for me he is a very important player.

I am going to support him. I am also going to decide when he can play and when not but hes an important player with his commitment and his behavioRead More – Source