Granit Xhaka: Arsenal midfielder says he wants to meet social media abusers

Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka says he would like to meet those who have abused him and his family on social media.

The 28-year-old said his wife and daughter were targeted following a draw against Crystal Palace last season, and he received more abuse for his red card against Burnley in December.

„I wish I could meet these people, sit with them, eye-to-eye and ask ‘why are you writing these things?'“ he said.

„No problem to criticise me. Like a person, like a player.“

When asked about those supposed Arsenal fans who had sent abusive messages, the Swiss midfielder said: „They are not supporters of my club. I do not see them as supporters of my club – to support the club they have to be here if we lose, we draw or we win.

„If one guy is a ticket holder at the club and speaks like this about his own players I don’t think he needs respect from our side or other people.“

He added: „This is not acceptable. So you have to open our eyes and to look after this a lot, because I think you kill the football like this if the people start to speak about a player or their families or things like this.“

Xhaka has had a mixed relationship with the fans since he joined the club in 2016.

He uttered an obscenity as they jeered him following his substitution during a draw with Palace in October 2019. The Gunners midfielder subsequently had his captaincy removed by then-head coach Unai Emery and appeared set to leave the Emirates Stadium.

New coach Mikel Arteta retained the services of the former Borussia Monchengladbach player, who has made 31 appearances for Arsenal this season.

bbc sport

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