Granit Xhaka handed leadership role by Mikel Arteta two years after being axed as Arsenal captain


Granit Xhaka ‘handed leadership role in Mikel Arteta’s new-look Arsenal side’ two years after being axed as captain by Unai Emery… with Gabriel Jesus ‘also nominated to support Martin Odegaard this season’

  • Granit Xhaka will serve as a squad leader for Mikel Arteta’s side
  • The 29-year-old briefly served as club captain under Unai Emery
  • Xhaka was stripped of his role after an incident at Crystal Palace in 2019
  • New-signing Gabriel Jesus will also serve in a leadership role at the Emirates

Granit Xhaka has been given a leadership role within Mikel Arteta’s squad as Arsenal look to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign.

According to a report from The Athletic, Xhaka and new signing Gabriel Jesus have been nominated by Arteta to serve in squad leadership roles at the Gunners.

Xhaka and Jesus will serve alongside captain Martin Odegaard as part of the core leadership group at Arsenal, and will also be called upon to take the armband if the former Real Madrid midfielder is absent.

Mikel Arteta has handed Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Jesus leadership roles in his squad

The 29-year-old scored and got an assist in Arsenal's 4-2 win over Leicester on Saturday

The 29-year-old scored and got an assist in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leicester on Saturday

The news is significant for Xhaka as it comes after he was stripped of the captaincy following an incident at Crystal Palace that nearly brought an end to his career in North London.

The Swiss midfielder had been chosen by then-boss Unai Emery to take over from departing stalwart Laurent Koscielny as the club’s captain but his ill-fated stint with the armband would last just one month.

After being substituted by Emery with the Gunners drawing 2-2 with Crystal Palace at the Emirates, Xhaka was booed by supporters as he left the pitch. In response, the Switzerland international swore at the home fans before walking straight down the tunnel.

Xhaka's future at Arsenal was in question after he was stripped of the club's captaincy in 2019

Xhaka’s future at Arsenal was in question after he was stripped of the club’s captaincy in 2019

Emery would immediately strip Xhaka of the captaincy following the incident, and would go on to leave the midfielder out of the squad for the next three Premier League games, leaving his future at the club in doubt.

However, after Arteta took the reigns at Arsenal following Emery’s sacking, he persuaded Xhaka to stay amidst transfer speculation, and the 29-year-old has remained a key fixture at the club ever since.

Xhaka was even entrusted with the armband after Odegaard was substituted in Arsenal’s Premier League opening day win at Palace.

Arteta has hailed new-signing Jesus for his workrate both on the pitch and in training

Arteta has hailed new-signing Jesus for his workrate both on the pitch and in training

Gabriel Jesus will also serve alongside Odegaard and Xhaka as part of Mikel Arteta’s new-look leadership core. The Brazilian has made an instant impact since joining the Gunners earlier this summer, netting a brace as Arsenal defeated Leicester 4-2 on Saturday.

Speaking about his new signing following the victory, Arteta praised the former Manchester City striker:

‘We know what Gabi can do,

‘He is disappointed in the dressing room because he said he could have scored four. That is the standard, that is the mentality you need. I would not like to play against him. So mobile, so intuitive, always sharp. He lifts the standards, the way he is training every day.’ He added.

Advertisement



Source link