Granit Xhaka, who was previously stripped of Arsenal captaincy, reveals he would be ready to take up the armband again if called upon as his revival at the Emirates continues
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Granit Xhaka insists he is ready to retake the Arsenal captaincy, while Mikel Arteta prepares to appoint his new skipper.
The Spaniard is yet to name Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s successor after he was stripped of the captaincy before his departure Barcelona. Alexandre Lacazette wore the armband until recently but is unlikely to be given it permanently with the forward should go as a free agent in the summer.
It was Kieran Tierney and Martin Odegaard traded as Arsenal’s next captain, but Arteta has yet to make a final decision on the matter. And Xhaka, who previously had his armband removed, reveals he would be willing to accept it if called upon as his revival continues at the Emirates.
That prospect seemed unthinkable as he appeared to berate the Emirates crowd when he was booed after being substituted on him midway through a game in October 2019 crystal palace. The 29-year-old lost his captaincy after the incident and admitted he was close to retirement arsenal as he was combined with a move to Romabut Arteta persuaded him to stay and he has now developed into one of the players in the Gunners’ leading group – with positive effects on and off the pitch.
“I will never say never,” he said Sky Sports when asked about the Arsenal captain. “I wasn’t ready for that yet. An Arsenal captain can be without a bandage and I’m trying to lead the game and the players without a bandage, but if tomorrow someone from the football club comes and asks if I want to take it, I’ll be here, because I know I’m ready to do it again.”
However, Xhaka has had to face intense scrutiny to get to this point and reckons his interview for The Player’s Tribune, in which he spoke about the level of hate he has endured, helped cement his relationship Repair Arsenal fans. He added: “After this happened, people told me it wasn’t hate, but to me it was absolutely hate. I know what hate is and I know what love is and what’s in between. This wasn’t an in-between, it wasn’t love… it was hate.
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“I received very positive feedback from fans and social media and I was very proud of myself. A lot of players don’t talk about it, they’re very open, they’re afraid of the future.
“It was the perfect time for me. There are still people who say they won’t change our minds, but that’s fine, the most important thing is how I feel and that’s very good.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenal-granit-xhaka-mikel-arteta-26844656 Granit Xhaka is poised to reclaim the Arsenal captaincy, while Mikel Arteta prepares to appoint skippers