Granit Xhaka officially stripped of Arsenal captaincy


Following a controversial clash with fans during Arsenal’s game against Crystal Palace, Unai Emery has confirmed that Granit Xhaka has been removed as the Gunners captain.

The Switzerland international was at the centre of controversy against Crystal Palace when he was substituted last weekend. As he was leaving the pitch, the 27-year-old was met with apparent jeers and abuse from the home fans, to which he retaliated by taunting them and shouting profanity.

When discussing the matter on Tuesday, Emery said:

I had a meeting with him and told him he is no longer in the captain’s group, he accepted my decision. I needed to take a decision and now it’s closed.”

The Spaniard confirmed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will take his place as captain.

The player, however, has openly disagreed with the idea of apologising to the fans. This is something that was suggested by the manager but Xhaka feels that whilst his reaction was wrong, the treatment he received was unjustifiable.

“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply, I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch,” he said in a statement.

“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months, have hurt me deeply. People have said things like, ‘We will break your legs’, ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.”

The player has not taken part in a game since the incident, having also been left out of Unai Emery’s selected squad for the Europa League clash against Vitoria Guimaraes on Wednesday night.

After joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, there are now questions surrounding his future at the club. Fans are still frustrated with the players actions alongside the current run of form that the club is currently enduring. With growing pressure on the manager and the players, what will come of the Switzerland native’s future?

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