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Granit Xhaka is the leading candidate to replace Laurent Koscielny as Arsenal captain

Granit Xhaka

Kolkata, July 19: Granit Xhaka is a leading candidate for the Arsenal captaincy following Laurent Koscielny’s decision to boycott the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.

Koscielny refused to attend the club's pre-season tour in a bid to force a move and now as a result, he is s set to be stripped of the captaincy.

Though Unai Emery insisted that the matter will be resolved between Koscielny and the club, he was quick to admit that he is likely to name a new skipper even if Koscielny stays at the Emirates.

Ahead of their pre-season match against Bayern, Emery hinted that there are three possible choices with Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, and Nacho Monreal, but it is believed that with the only the Swiss midfielder expected to be regular, he could be given the role permanently.

"We've players with the capacity [to be captain], one is Granit, he was a captain in the dressing room," the Spaniard said.

"We've others like Mesut, Nacho. There're other players who can take this position also. I want between three and five captains in the team," he added.

Xhaka wore the armband on a few occasions last year as one Emery’s five captains -- Ozil, Koscielny, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey, being the other four. But with Cech and Ramsey already leaving Arsenal and Ozil and Koscielny still uncertain in the line-up, he is now the favourite to become the club’s next permanent skipper.

Xhaka does not have a great reputation amongst Arsenal supporters since joining the club in 2016, but he does have good captaincy credentials having skippered his former club Borussia Monchengladbach and Switzerland in the past.

When asked about captaincy, Xhaka said, "I've been the captain here and in Germany and with my national team.

"If the coach gave me the armband, of course, I would be happy because it's something special.

"But what we need is for everyone to work together on and off the pitch and to take leadership from all the players."

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Story first published: Friday, July 19, 2019, 13:34 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 19, 2019
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