Granit Xhaka admits his "heart was gone" from Arsenal before Mikel Arteta's show of faith and emotional support.
The Swiss international has endured a mixed time at the Emirates since joining in 2016.
But his lowest moment was when he was booed off by his own fans as he was substituted in a game against Crystal Palace last season.
At that point Xhaka had been voted as the club's captain and he responded angrily to the fans hostile reaction.
Former Gunners boss Unai Emery proceeded to strip him of the armband and removed him from the first team picture for a period.
Get the latest news straight into your inbox!
It has been a hectic season so far – so make sure you don't miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!
All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won't miss out.
To sign up, put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
It looked like he was destined for the exit door with a January move to Hertha Berlin in the pipeline.
But Arteta's arrival saw Xhaka commit a u-turn and he credits the Spaniard with helping him recover from the situation.
"I was completely surprised by this. I am a person, I have emotions, things hurt me too," he told Swiss publication NZZ am Sonntag.
"The disparaging gesture in the direction of the fans that I made back then might not be done today.
"I didn’t go to training for two days, wondering what happened in the first place. My heart was already gone from the club.
"The fact that I’m still there today is thanks to coach Mikel Arteta.
"He first wanted me to explain how I feel and why I had acted this way… I was able to describe my motives to him and let out what was on my mind."
Xhaka has since played regularly under Arteta as the former Manchester City no 2 embeds his philosophy.
This term he has started five of their seven league games as Arsenal target a place in the top four.
Where will Arsenal finish this season? Have your say here.
* Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip
Source: Read Full Article