Arsenal finally pick under-fire Granit Xhaka as their new captain (even after he got jeered off by fans last week)… with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette to be his deputy after dressing room vote
- Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka has been revealed as Arsenal’s new captain
- Boss Unai Emery revealed the news to his squad on Friday after consultations
- Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could become vice-captain
- Xhaka was jeered off by his own supporters against Aston Villa last weekend
Granit Xhaka has been named as Arsenal’s permanent captain by boss Unai Emery.
The under-fire Swiss midfielder has been given the armband following a consultation between Emery and his players. The squad were informed of his decision on Friday morning.
According to BBC Sport’s David Ornstein, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng are in the running to take the vice-captaincy.
Granit Xhaka has been named as Arsenal’s permanent captain by boss Unai Emery
Emery favours a group of five players to lead the team throughout the course of a season
Xhaka replaces Laurent Koscielny as the London side’s new skipper after leading the team out in six of their eight games this season.
But the Swiss international, who turned 27 on the day he was handed captaincy duties, has been much maligned this season for a string of below-par showings.
The former Basle man had been booed by home supporters at the Emirates after he was substituted against Aston Villa last week.
But Emery had defended his player after the Gunners’ dramatic comeback, saying: ‘We need our supporters and we need them helping each player. It is our responsibility to transmit our commitment and Xhaka is doing this.’
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are options to be vice-captains
Emery held a secret dressing-room poll this week in his search for a new leader after a raft of senior players left the club this summer.
The Spaniard introduced a pool of five players last season to share the responsibility of leading the squad, but that became depleted following the departures of Aaron Ramsey, Koscielny and Petr Cech.
Rob Holding and Mesut Ozil are part of the five-man leadership group, it is believed, and the English defender revealed that system will remain in place.
Speaking after his first Arsenal appearance since December 2018 in the Carabao Cup in midweek, he said: ‘He (Emery) likes his five captains. We all did a vote the other week so we’ll see what happens and see who gets named.
Playmaker Mesut Ozil was a member of the original group of five captains last season
‘It was just write names down and then give them to the manager and he will go through them obviously with his input and we’ll see what happens.
‘I have no idea (when an announcement will be made), but there is a lot of leaders in that team who are helping each other out and pushing each other on.
‘Now that we’ve got these five captains that the manager has brought in it’s spreading the leadership group rather than having one person to dictate it.
‘You’re getting more input, it’s generating a good environment.’