Granit Xhaka has been named club captain for the season by head coach Unai Emery. The midfielder who had already captained the team 6 times this season was confirmed as captain on Friday morning, which happens to be the day he turned 27.
The midfielder was named captain after a blind vote by the squad and will be supported by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette, and Mesut Ozil as fellow members of the leadership group.
Unai Emery spoke to the press and explained why he thinks Xhaka is the right choice.
“First, he is mature and he has experience and we are all living all the time under pressure, under criticism as coaches, as players, as a club,” our head coach said. “The most important thing is to stand up in each moment, go ahead and [for him] to show his quality, with his behaviour, with his commitment and in the dressing room the players voted for him as the first.
“After, I spoke with him and we want to change that opinion outside because that respect that he has inside the dressing room is very, very important. And also keep moving ahead, playing, improving, and with behaviour, and his commitment. Each match for him, for me, for everybody, is a very good opportunity to show our capacity.
“I trust and believe in him and he is a good man, a good professional and a good player. Sometimes he has made a mistake, yes, but the most important thing is to analyse, to learn and to correct that in the future.
“His challenge, and our challenge, is to change that opinion and above all, show personality and improve in each match and give us his help every time. The first match is on Monday at Manchester United.”
Xhaka is Captain because he is our best CM, strongest character and best leader. The players know this, but twitter experts don't. Standard stuff.
— Positively Grumpy (Blackburn George) (@arseblagger) September 27, 2019
Granit Xhaka has been appointed as Arsenal's permanent captain by Unai Emery. He has made more errors leading to goals than any other Premier League player since 2016. pic.twitter.com/aIYMtEF1K0
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) September 27, 2019
Granit Xhaka was booed off the pitch as he was substituted in the 3-2 win at home to Aston Villa. He has often divided opinion among fans and will definitely come under more scrutiny now that he has been named club captain.
Do you think Granit Xhaka is the right choice and what’s your opinion on the captain voting system?