Unai Emery has announced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal’s new club captain after a decision was made to strip Granit Xhaka of the captaincy.
Xhaka’s position as captain became uncertain after his outburst towards the home crowd when being jeered during the club’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last month.
The Switzerland international has not featured for the Gunners since the incident and will again not be considered for Thursday night’s Europa League clash at Vitoria Guimaraes.
How Emery broke the news to Xhaka that he was no longer captain. pic.twitter.com/KqQ8Ep8sa5
— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) November 6, 2019
“He is not today here, but also I think we need time with him and first protect him also to be calm and training with us every day,” Emery said at his pre-match press conference.
“But I was speaking with him this morning and also I decided he is not one of the captains in our group. I decided that and I told him this morning.
“He accepted my decision. And also I told the other captains the decision.
“We need to carry on and focus for tomorrow’s match and next Saturday’s match. I needed to make a decision and now it is closed.”
Emery confirmed that Aubameyang is now Arsenal’s first-choice captain in his preferred leadership group system, with Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil the stand-in skippers.
“We have now Aubameyang, Hector, Lacazette and Ozil. They are the four captains and the first now is Aubameyang.”