Football News

Unai Emery advised to make “serial winner” David Luiz his Arsenal captain

By Steve Jennings

Published: 19:20, 24 September 2019

Paul Merson has urged Arsenal manager Unai Emery to make David Luiz the club’s permanent captain instead of having multiple players share the armband.

Granit Xhaka has captained the Gunners regularly so far this season but Emery is yet to decide who will skipper the side for the rest of the campaign.

Could David Luiz be Arsenal’s new captain? Five things to know…

  • Emery has suggested that he wants to have a leadership group at Arsenal rather than one captain.
  • But the former Sevilla and PSG boss is set to name designated skippers on Tuesday night.
  • Xhaka has worn the armband when available so far this season.
  • However, the midfielder was jeered for his performance against Aston Villa on Sunday.
  • Merson thinks Luiz should captain the side as he is a “serial winner”.

The Spaniard is set to officially name his captains on Tuesday night after Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash with Nottingham Forest.

And Merson believes the sharing of the armband proves Emery does not know what his best team is, suggesting the captaincy should be given to a regular starter like Luiz.

“The worrying thing for me is I heard the manager say he’s going to have five captains, which tells me he has no idea what his team is,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“Unai Emery’s been there a year-and-a-half, he’s got to have five captains because he doesn’t have a clue what his best team is. He hasn’t got a clue. The good teams are the ones who play virtually the same team every week but with Arsenal, you don’t know who it’ll be from week to week.

“David Luiz has got to be captain, he’s a serial winner. People have a go at him because one week he’ll be a 2/10 and the next a 9/10, but he’s going to play every week.

“I’m not the greatest lover of a forward being the captain, but [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang’s another one. Those front three should pick themselves straight away and you go from there – they’ll play every week, if they’re fit.”

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“You’ve got to have a bit more class than that”

Xhaka’s performance in Arsenal’s comeback victory over Aston Villa at the Emirates on Sunday added more doubt to his captaincy credentials.

The Swiss international was substituted when the hosts were 2-1 down, with the introduction of Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock hailed as the turning point for the Gunners.

But Merson has criticised the section of supporters that booed and jeered when Xhaka left the pitch, calling on those fans to show more class.

He said: “I had a bit of a go at Xhaka the other week, but I don’t like fans booing their players.

“It’s not right and it’s not Arsenal. You’ve got to have a bit more class than that. He’s never stopped trying and even though I had a go at him, you can’t be booing your own players.”

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