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Former Arsenal star Granit Xhaka sends rallying cry to his old team-mates after back-to-back defeats against Aston Villa and Bayern Munich left them at risk of missing out on silverware this season

Former Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has issued a rallying cry to his former team-mates after their season was dealt a blow by crushing back-to-back defeats. 

The Gunners have enjoyed an incredible season that has seen them play some superb football under Mikel Arteta, scoring 75 goals along the way to aid their title charge – but a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa handed the initiative to Man City

Just days later, Arteta’s side were then dumped out of the Champions League after a 3-2 defeat on aggregate against Bayern Munich, leaving them at risk of missing out on winning silverware this season. 

Xhaka left the Emirates last summer for Bayer Leverkusen and has instantly enjoyed success, lifting the Bundesliga title following a so-far unbeaten campaign under boss Xabi Alonso – while they are still in the running to win the Europa League and the German Cup. 

He told Arsenal to keep believing that they could end the season with a trophy, saying one or two losses does not define their campaign after putting together an unbeaten run stretching to 11 games in the Premier League, ended by Villa last week.

Ex-Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has sent his old team a rallying cry after back-to-back defeats

Ex-Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has sent his old team a rallying cry after back-to-back defeats

The Gunners are at risk of finishing the season with no silverware after being dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern

They also suffered an agonising loss to Aston Villa

The Gunners are at risk of finishing the season with no silverware after being dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern, after an agonising loss to Aston Villa

Xhaka played 297 times for the Gunners and won two trophies during his time in north London

Xhaka played 297 times for the Gunners and won two trophies during his time in north London

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‘This is part of the game, I think it was 10 or 11 games unbeaten. When you lose one game, it doesn’t mean you lost everything already,’ he said, via the Mirror.

‘There are six games left in the Premier League and there is still a big chance to get the Premier League title. I wish them all the best for sure because I am still in contact with the staff and players and also still watching the games.’

When asked if he believed the club could win a trophy soon, he added: ‘I hope so because the team, the staff and the football club as well deserve to win trophies. 

‘They are very close this year as well like it was last year but football is about small details. I hope they can do it.’ 

The Swiss international has just lifted the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, with his side so far unbeaten this season

The Swiss international has just lifted the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, with his side so far unbeaten this season

Xhaka, who made 297 appearances for the Gunners – winning the FA Cup twice – has been one of the stars of the season for Leverkusen, starting 29 games in the league and seven in Europe, scoring twice. 

The Swiss international played the full 90 minutes against West Ham in the Europa League quarter-final, helping the team win 3-1 on aggregate after Jeremie Frimpong’s goal cancelled out Michail Antonio’s opener. 

They will meet Roma in the semi-finals, and Xhaka insisted Leverkusen are still hungry for more silverware after winning the Bundesliga. 

‘It’s difficult to find the right words [to sum up his emotions],’ Xhaka said. ‘To come back after my first season in the league is unbelievable. 

‘When you kick a ball at a young age, you dream of moments like this. It was hard work day by day, with everyone who was included in this club.

‘In my 14 years football career, it’s special for me, but even more special for this club. Now we want more, and to take the others one as well.’

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