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Arsenal strips Xhaka of captaincy

Arsenal strips Xhaka of captaincy; Emery hints at freezing him out of first team

November 5, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The 27-year-old midfielder's stay at Emirates is apparently nearing its end.

Swiss international Granit Xhaka has been stripped of his Arsenal captaincy, reports from England have revealed. The Gunners' manager Unai Emery has also hinted that the midfielder might not be a part of his side's future plans following his dispute with the fans.

Xhaka has been left out of Arsenal's squad in the last two outings against Liverpool and Wolves after angering reacting to the jeers of fans during his substitution against Crystal Palace in October. On his way to his seat in the dugout, the former Borussia Monchengladbach star took off his shirt while gesticulating to further express his frustration.

Having been handed the armband at the beginning of the season, Xhaka's reaction, albeit explaining that it was motivated by threats against his wife and daughter, has been criticized by the club's hierarchy. According to Express UK, the decision to take away the captaincy from the Swiss was announced following a meeting between Unai Emery and Arsenal´s leadership group.

Ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with Vitoria, the former Paris Saint-Germain boss was quizzed as to whether Xhaka had a future at Arsenal. There, he hinted at the prospect of the player being frozen out in order to put the interest of the club first.

"The future is Arsenal's future," Emery said, when asked if Xhaka will play for Arsenal again.

"We have a very important match on Saturday.

"We need to take some decisions... My focus is for tomorrow. He is our player, we want to respect him.

"We're speaking a lot about that," Emery said. "[The decision is] clear. There's no more words about that.

"I told him and told the other captains. Then the time is giving us the next weeks and months, how we can continue with every player."

With Xhaka's future yet to be sorted, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been appointed as his immediate substantive.

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