Mesut Ozil has called for unity at Arsenal amid the fallout from Granit Xhaka’s weekend substitution.
Club captain Xhaka was replaced just after the hour mark of Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium, leaving the pitch slowly to loud jeering from the home fans.
The Swiss could be seen cupping his ear and shouting “f*** off” at the supporters before he was replaced by youngster Bukayo Saka.
The incident has led to widespread calls for Xhaka to be stripped of the club captaincy, as Unai Emery’s reign at Arsenal is scrutinised like never before.
Ozil has faced his own issues with the club’s supporters, and has featured just twice this season amid injury and illness problems and through being overlooked by Emery.
Alongside a post of him in training with close friend Sead Kolasinac, Ozil wrote: “Big game ahead. No matter what – the only way is standing together as one.”
Emery has suggested that Ozil could make just his third appearance of the season at Anfield on Wednesday, explaining details of a conversation he had with him in training.
“That conversation this morning was because I wanted to listen about how he was thinking now to help us tomorrow,” said Emery at a press conference on Tuesday..
“It was a very good conversation. Tomorrow he is in the group.
“We need his quality, his skill. We need his consistency. We need his positive mentality. Then we need him to help us on the pitch.
“I want now like in the pre-season, like a month ago, for him to help us on the pitch.”
Emery even suggested that, with Xhaka not travelling to Merseyside, Ozil could take the captain’s armband.
“It depends,” he said.
“He could be yes.”