Granit Xhaka: Arsenal midfielder says Gunners are 'motivated' by criticism following defeat to Chelsea

Granit Xhaka has signed a one-year extension at the Emirates Stadium until 2024; Arsenal lost first two games of the season against London rivals Brentford and Chelsea; Xhaka: "We still have games in front of us, we know we have to improve a lot of things and I'm sure we will do that"

Granit Xhaka
Image: Granit Xhaka has urged his Arsenal team-mates to show unity in the face of criticism

Granit Xhaka insists Arsenal feel motivated by criticism which has been levelled at them following their poor start to the Premier League season.

The Gunners lost 2-0 at home to Chelsea on Sunday as Romelu Lukaku marked his second Blues debut with a goal before Reece James secured the victory for the visitors.

That followed an opening-day defeat at newly-promoted Brentford as Arsenal endured their worst-ever start to a campaign in the top four leagues.

Xhaka, who signed a new deal with the club before the start of the season despite being heavily linked with a move to Italy, admits things need to improve as the squad look to prove their doubters wrong.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea's win against Arsenal in the Premier League

"Of course," the Switzerland midfielder replied when asked if the team are motivated by criticism.

"A lot of people try to speak and to kill a little bit the players and the team but the strongest thing to do at the moment is to be together, and only together will we be stronger and give the results on the pitch after.

"We want to achieve something big, of course. After two games a lot of people are speaking about this team and about this club but I will say, no season finishes after two or three games.

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"We still have games in front of us, we know we have to improve a lot of things and I'm sure we will do that."

Xhaka captained Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, a big turnaround from appearing to be set for a move to Roma earlier in the summer.

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Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell thinks the Gunners need 'balance' and feels further recruitment is required but believes progress can still be made under Mikel Arteta

"I'm very happy, I'm still here," he added.

"I've signed a new contract of course and I want to give back, first of all to our staff, and then after to our fans.

"They know I will give everything - in every game and every training session. So yeah, I think we have to show that as a team soon."

AP: Martin Odegaard
Image: Martin Odegaard recently completed a permanent switch to the Emirates Stadium

Meanwhile, Arsenal are hopeful that Martin Odegaard's visa will be processed in time for him to be available for Wednesday's League Cup tie at West Brom.

Odegaard completed a move from Real Madrid worth £34m on Friday, following his initial loan spell for the second half of last season.

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