Granit Xhaka open to retaking Arsenal captaincy

Granit Xhaka confirmed he would “never say” for the chance to lead the club again.

Under Unai Emery, the former Borussia Monchengladbach man was awarded a badge for the 2019-20 season following the sharp departure of Laurent Koscielny.

Xhaka was in the English capital for three years at the time, but developed a strained relationship with Arsenal fans, which culminated during a match against Crystal Palace in October 2019.

The Swiss player was greeted with applause during the 2-2 draw, and he responded by making a lewd rhetoric to the hostile crowd while also turning his ear toward the spectators.

Emre Xhaka was stripped of his captain’s armband after his outburst, and the Swiss midfielder was widely expected to leave in the January transfer window.

On the other hand, Mikel Arteta has convinced Xhaka to stay despite the midfielder’s recent admission that he is on the verge of leaving, and he has earned the Spaniard’s confidence over the past two years.

When asked by Sky Sports News if he would take over as captain again, Shaka He said: I will never say never. I wasn’t ready for that again.

“He could be the Arsenal captain without the armband and I’m trying to lead the game and the players without the captaincy, but if someone from the football club comes tomorrow and asks me if I want to take it I’ll be here because I know I’m ready again to do it.

“After what happened people were telling me this wasn’t hate but for me, this was absolute hate. I know what hate is and I know what love is and what’s in between. This wasn’t in the middle, it wasn’t love. It was hate.

“I received very positive feedback from the fans and from social media and I was very proud of myself. Not many players talk about it, being very open, they are afraid of the future.

“For me, it was the perfect time. You still have people saying you’re not going to change our mind but that’s fine, the most important thing is how I feel and that’s very good.”

Besides Xhaka, Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney are seen as the favorites to succeed Lacazette as captain, with the former having already captained the Norwegian national team.

Xhaka spent six years with Arsenal, making 245 appearances in all competitions, winning the FA Cup twice and the Community Shield during that time.