Granit Xhaka has issued a statement to Arsenal supporters following Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.
Xhaka reacted angrily to his own supporters who jeered and booed him while he was being substituted.
The Switzerland star gestured towards the crowd and appeared to tell them to ‘f*** off’.
And now he has given an explanation as to why he reacted like he did.
Xhaka says repeated abuse from supporters at matches and on social media has affected him “deeply” over the last few weeks.
The 27-year-old’s wife and family have been targeted online and Xhaka claims that led him to “boiling point” on Sunday.
He admits his reaction was disrespectful to the Arsenal supporters and has apologised for it.
Xhaka signed off his message by telling supporters “Let’s move forward positively together”.
Read Xhaka’s entire statement in full below.
Granit Xhaka statement
“After taking some time to reflect on what happened on Sunday afternoon, I would like to give you an explanation rather than just a quick response.
“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100 per cent on and off the pitch.
“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last few weeks and months have hurt me deeply. People have said things like ‘We will break your legs’, ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt rejection in the stadium on Sunday.
“In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy. That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.
“My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place. Let’s move forward positively together.
Earlier this week, Arsenal head coach Unai Emery claimed Xhaka was “devastated” and knew he was in the wrong.
“He is now devastated – devastated and sad,” Emery said on Tuesday.
“We spoke yesterday and also on Sunday night. This morning he trained as normal with the group but he is devastated and sad about the situation.
“He knows he was wrong. He was wrong and he feels it inside very deeply. But that is normal as a human. You need, and every player needs, the supporters’ support.”