Granit Xhaka has issued a message to Arsenal fans following his outburst during the draw with Crystal Palace.
The Swiss captain was jeered off during the Emirates clash before gesturing to supporters and appearing to mouth ‘f*** off’.
He cupped his hand to his ear then took his shirt off as he made his way down the tunnel.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery had urged Xhaka to apologise earlier this week but refused to confirm if he would retain the armband.
Xhaka has now responded five days after the 2-2 draw with Palace, having sat out the Carabao Cup defeat to Liverpool.
In a statement, Xhaka wrote: “After taking some time to reflect on what happened on Sunday afternoon, I would like to give you an explanation rather than just a quick response.
“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch.
“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have me deeply.
“People have said things like “We will break your legs”, “Kill your wife” and “Wish that your daughter gets cancer”.
“That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.
“In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy.
“That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.
“My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place.
“Let’s move forward positively together. Granit.”
Arsenal returns to action against Wolves on Saturday although it remains unclear if Xhaka will be involved.
Xhaka’s post on social media was liked by his international teammates and former Arsenal stars Stephan Lichtsteiner and Johan Djourou.
Lichtsteiner commented: “Keep fighting Captain” while Djourou added: “Well said Granit.”