Granit Xhaka praised by ex-England man after Arsenal midfielder overcame ‘very rare’ obstacle

Granit Xhaka praised by ex-England man after Arsenal midfielder overcame ‘very rare’ obstacle

Peter Crouch has singled out Granit Xhaka for praise, saying he has made a terrific comeback after falling out with the Arsenal fans in 2019.

Xhaka was stripped of the Gunners captaincy in 2019 after he told fans at the Emirates to f*** off and threw his shirt on the ground during a match against Crystal Palace.

Substituted with the score level just after the hour mark, Xhaka walked off to be replaced by Bukayo Saka and the home supporters did not appreciate how slowly the Swiss midfielder left the field.

In retaliation, Xhaka stormed down the tunnel after cursing at his club’s fans and throwing his shirt and captains armband to the grass.

The 30-year-old missed the next three Premier League matches as a result and it looked like his time in north London was coming to an end.

He came back into the squad following the sacking of manager Unai Emery, however.

Club legend Freddie Ljungberg took charge of five league games before Mikel Arteta became Emery’s long-term successor.

Once adamant that he would leave the club, Arteta convinced Xhaka to stay and he has been a crucial player under the Spanish manager’s stewardship.

His form this year has been incredible as he is thriving as a box-to-box midfielder with Thomas Partey occupying the deep-lying role.

Martin Odegaard is now club captain, though Xhaka appears to be top of the list of Arteta’s vice-skippers.

The Switzerland captain continued his excellent goalscoring season with strikes against PSV and Southampton last week.

And speaking on his podcast, former Liverpool, England and Tottenham striker Peter Crouch has said Xhaka has one of the best ‘Chumbawambas’ he has seen in the Premier League.

The term ‘Chumbawamba’ references the hit song, ‘Tubthumping’, about getting knocked down and back up again.

“I’m thinking of Granit Xhaka,” Crouch told ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’, when asked about players who made great ‘Chumbawambas’.

“I’m looking at that like, ‘there was no way back there’.

“You know, he threw his shirt, the armband, he had a reaction from the crowd. Very, very rarely do you see a home crowd against a player like that and then come back from it.

“And to come back in the manner he has come back, certainly this season is a credit to him really, and shows the strength of character.”

Who doesn’t love a comeback story, eh?

Crouch added: “I also think to take to the pitch again after that and probably get booed, and the abuse he maybe from outside to his family, to come back from that is a big task and it takes a big character to do that.

“So Chumbawamba kudos to Granit Xhaka.”

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