How Granit Xhaka's armband refusal led to a hint at Arsenal's next captain


The refusal of Granit Xhaka to take on the captain's armband during Arsenal's meeting with Brentford on Saturday gave rise to a less-than-subtle hint regarding just who the club's next skipper could be.

The subject of the captaincy situation of course too centre stage on the red half of north London once more earlier today.

This came when Alexandre Lacazette, handed the armband for the Gunners' clash with the aforementioned Brentford, was hauled off late in the action at the Emirates.

After making his way to the sideline, Lacazette passed the accessory over to Eddie Nketiah, the man replacing him in the clash, who, in turn, made his way towards Xhaka in the middle of the park.

A bizarre scene subsequently unfolded, however, as Arsenal's midfield general made clear that he had no intention of taking on the captaincy.

This of course comes with Xhaka in possession of quite the past when it comes to the armband in north London.

From here, though, a potentially significant hint was dropped when it comes to just who could be chosen as the long-term replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as captain of Mikel Arteta's squad.

The player to have taken on the responsibility on the back of Xhaka's snub? Kieran Tierney.

Could Scottish international Tierney, so long lauded for his leadership qualities since arriving in the English capital from Celtic, be the next permanent Arsenal skipper?

ESR back in the goals

Armband drama aside, Arsenal eventually managed to get the job done on Saturday, en route to an important three-point haul.

After the Gunners were left frustrated at heading into the interval at 0-0 despite completely dominating the first-half, the club’s Hale End graduates stepped up in timely fashion, as Emile Smith Rowe's opener was followed by a further strike on the part of Bukayo Saka ten minutes from time:

Brentford did manage to pull one back deep into injury-time at the Emirates, but it ultimately proved little more than a consolation, as Mikel Arteta and co. closed the gap on 4th-placed Manchester United to just a solitary point in the Premier League table, whilst boasting a pair of games in hand.

Read more:

‘Saka and Emile Smith Rowe!’ Hale End purrs again and three talking points as Arsenal climb within one point of the top four

Mikel Arteta singles out ‘different’ Arsenal player to have strong end to the season


Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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