Granit Xhaka will sit out Arsenal’s clash with Wolves after boss Unai Emery admitted the wounds from his fallout with Gunners fans need more time to heal.
Captain Xhaka told supporters to ‘f*** off’ as left the field to a chorus of boos when substituted in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
The Switzerland midfielder revealed later that he had lost his temper over the repeated abuse he and his family have received in stadiums and online.
Emery swerved the topic when asked if Xhaka would retain the captaincy but said: ‘The first thing is the person. Everyone feels emotions. We need time to recover the normality with him and with us.
‘He is training normally with the team. He didn’t play at Liverpool (in the Carabao Cup) and above all he has remained focused on tomorrow. It’s not in my mind that he will play. He’s said sorry to everybody. Now the focus is on the Wolves match.’
Xhaka said online trolls had threatened to break his legs and kill his wife in sickening messages.
Emery said: ‘On social media, you can have a lot of followers but it is sometimes for help and sometimes for criticism. I protect myself a lot with that.
‘I don’t want to read it when we’re winning, then I have the excuse not to read it when we’re losing.’
Mesut Ozil is in the Arsenal squad and pushing for a recall after impressing in Wednesday’s 5-5 draw at Anfield, which the Gunners eventually lost on penalties.