Granit Xhaka has taken to Instagram to respond to Nicolas Pépé’s apology, after he received a red card in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against Leeds on Sunday.
The Ivory Coast international headbutted Ezgjan Alioski during the second half, which brought his game to a premature end after Anthony Taylor checked the VAR monitor.
Pépé issued an apology on Instagram shortly after, and Xhaka – who cost Arsenal £35 million – took the time to reply to his struggling teammate with an 11-word message.
The Switzerland international wrote: @nicolas.pepe19 keep going brother. You come back stronger. WE ARE WITH YOU🙏🏻💪🏻
If anyone knows how the former LOSC Lille attacker must be feeling, it is Xhaka.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach man was enduring a similarly turbulent time at the Emirates last season under Unai Emery.
Xhaka responded angrily to supporters after being substituted in a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace, which led to him being stripped of the captaincy.
While that hasn’t exactly happened to Pépé, the Ivorian is struggling like Xhaka was.
His start at Elland Road was a lifeline, although he eventually threw it back in Mikel Arteta’s face in the worst possible fashion.
The 25-year-old now misses Arsenal’s next three games. When he’s able to return, Pépé has work to do to get back in the Spaniard’s good books.