Football News

Last leader standing? Arsenal pass-master Granit Xhaka wants permanent captaincy

By Chris Smith

Published: 14:56, 12 June 2019

Granit Xhaka has admitted he would like to be given the captaincy role at Arsenal next season.

The Gunners face a summer of uncertainty, with Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech already leaving the club, while the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil have been linked with moves away.

Arsenal in a leadership crisis? Five key things to know…

  1. Last year, Unai Emery named Ramsey, Cech, Koscielny, Ozil and Xhaka in his leadership group.
  2. Ramsey has now left for Juventus, while Cech has retired.
  3. The futures of Ozil and Koscielny are far from certain.
  4. Xhaka has been linked with a move to Inter Milan.
  5. But he has denied this speculation and admitted he’d like to take the Arsenal captaincy.

That leaves Unai Emery with a serious lack of leadership in his dressing room. However, Xhaka, who made nearly 500 more successful passes than any other Arsenal player in the Premier League last season, wore the armband at points and would like to do so again.

“It would certainly be the dot on the ‘i’,” he responded when asked about the potential of becoming Arsenal’s next captain.

Along with the players already confirmed to be leaving the Emirates, Xhaka has also been linked with a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan, with new boss Antonio Conte said to be a great admirer of the Switzerland international midfielder.

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However, Xhaka, 26, has dismissed these rumours, insisting he and his family are happy in north London.

Asked by Swiss newspaper Blick if he would be leaving during the transfer window, Xhaka responded: “Not that I know.

“I have another four years on my contract, I only signed last year.

“I’m happy there, my family too. That’s the most important thing.”

Xhaka joined Arsenal in 2016 and has made 134 appearances for the Gunners so far, helping the club win the 2017 FA Cup.