Arsenal Head coach Unai Emery has confirmed that Granit Xhaka has been stripped off the captaincy of Arsenal football club and that striker Pierre Emrick Aubameyang will be the new captain. The decision comes a few days after Xhaka was involved in an incident with the fans, which resulted in him mouthing an expletive to the fans.
Emery was speaking in the pre-match press conference before Arsenal's Europa League match against Vitoria S.C. when he made the announcement. Xhaka was left out of the squad for the second consecutive game post the incident and was asked about the same. The Spaniard said, "Again, we can do one step more with him. He's not here today but also I think we need to take time with him, first to protect him and also to be calm and training with us every day. But I was speaking with him this morning and also I decided he's not one of the captains in our group and I decided that and I told him this morning." He went on to say that Xhaka had accepted the decision.
Arsenal's prolific striker Pierre Emrick Aubameyang is the new captain of the North London club. There will not be another player's vote to select the new captain and that the decision is closed. Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette, and Mesut Ozil will form the remainder of the leadership group.
Xhaka was jeered off the pitch during Arsenal's draw against Crystal Palace and that's when the saga started. At the time of the incident, the scoreline read 2-2 after Arsenal squandered a two-goal lead which they had secured early on in the match. Xhaka's squad number flashed on the assistant's board and as he, in a disappointed manner, walked to the touchline, there were a few boos, which angered the Swiss international even more. As a reply, Xhaka raised both his hands and signalled the fans to increase the boos and also, in retaliation, mouthed an abuse to the fans. Understandably, the reaction of the fans increased even more and Xhaka cupped his hands to his ears as the boos rang around the Emirates Stadium. As he went off the pitch, Xhaka took of the Arsenal jersey and went straight into the tunnel.
Xhaka did issue an apology to the fans before the match against Wolves, but the damage had already been done and it seems like his days at Arsenal are numbered.