Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy as one of the final dominoes to fall in the wake of his confrontational actions toward the Arsenal fans who booed him off the field last month.
Unai Emery announced on Tuesday that Xhaka will surrender the captain’s armband with immediate effect and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will take over the honorary position. Xhaka has been left out of the Arsenal squad for Wednesday’s Europa League clash away to Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes.
The only remaining question to be answered is whether or not Xhaka remains an active Arsenal player for the rest of November and all of December, which could then be followed by a month on nonstop speculation during the January transfer window.
Emery didn’t indicate whether Xhaka lost the captaincy for his actions alone, or his refusal to offer an outright apology to the club’s fans, as Emery made it known to all that he thought Xhaka should do.
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The 27-year-old said the following in a statement on Instagram last month:
“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100 percent on and off the pitch.
“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months, have hurt me deeply.
“People have said things like, ‘We will break your legs,’ ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.”