• Swiss midfielder could start against Southampton on Saturday
• Emery: ‘He wants to come back and we are going to decide’

Unai Emery has left the door open for Granit Xhaka to return to the Arsenal side, suggesting he may even consider him for Saturday’s home match against Southampton.

It is a noticeable softening of stance from Emery, who said before the international break that he did not know whether the midfielder would play for Arsenal again and admitted the club had discussed selling him in January. Xhaka, whose fallout with a section of the club’s fans led to him being stripped of the club captaincy, effectively ruled himself out of contention for the four matches preceding the international break but Emery appears ready to offer him a comeback in the next run of fixtures.

Related: Arsenal say Unai Emery is ‘the right man for the job’ and will stand by him

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