Granit Xhaka has told Mikel Arteta who should be appointed as Arsenal’s next captain


Granit Xhaka has backed Alexandre Lacazette for a permanent captaincy role at Arsenal.

The Swiss international was stripped of the title himself in October 2019 after he was unable to control his emotions during a home draw with Crystal Palace.

A section of fans cheered when he was substituted in the 61st minute and he was then booed as he walked from the field. Xhaka reacted by appearing to swear to the supporters, taking his shirt off and marching straight down the tunnel.

His successor, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has had no luck with the role either, and following his latest disciplinary breach, the Gabon striker lost his captaincy earlier this month.

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Mikel Arteta’s decision to relieve Aubameyang of his foremost leadership duties has meant that the current leadership group, including Xhaka, Lacazette and Rob Holding as key spokesmen, are constantly communicating with each other.

Assistant coach Steve Round sometimes calls them in to go over certain ideas or issues, and occasionally they take it upon themselves to hold a meeting.

“Sometimes two or three of us chat and ask ourselves and each other what we can do better. This leadership group is very, very positive,” he told The Athletic.

“At the moment it its easy because everyone is happy while we are winning games. But we know difficult times will come again. There is a right time to make sure to be together.

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“When something is not going well that is when the leadership group is most important to protect the players, protect the group, and look after the belief to help us to stay positive.”

Xhaka continued by expressing his support for Lacazette, who is currently wearing the armband whilst the club searches for a more permanent solution to the captain’s role.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring Arsenal's fourth goal from the penalty spot in the win over Norwich at Carrow Road on Boxing Day
Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring Arsenal’s fourth goal from the penalty spot in the win over Norwich at Carrow Road on Boxing Day

“At the moment Laca is our captain and I am more than happy for him,” he added.

“He is a very important person for us on and off the pitch. He is a lovely boy. He has a lot of respect from other players and a lot of experience over the years.

“I believe you need a player like this. He is always here. He is never too late. A lot of discipline. He is a funny guy. He is very open and you can speak with him whenever you want. I believe at the moment he is the right person to be our captain.”

The Frenchman’s contract runs out in June 2022 – which is partly why Arteta hasn’t appointed a long-term captain just yet – but if Lacazette does stay at the club, there’s nothing to suggest that he can’t fill the role permanently in the future.

Source by Football London

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