MIKEL ARTETA claims Granit Xhaka has always been a leader – and is delighted the club’s fans can now hear his booming voice.
Midfielder Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy by former Emirates boss Unai Emery in November with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang taking over the role.
The Swiss international’s relationship with the supporters had hit rock bottom and he reacted angrily to jeers after being substituted against Crystal Palace in October.
Yet Xhaka has remained a loud voice on the pitch and he could be heard barking orders in the 2-0 at Southampton on Thursday.
Smiling when asked about Xhaka, boss Arteta said: “He is a natural leader.
“He is always 100 per cent committed, not just for himself but for his team-mates – all the time. I am happy you can hear him.”
However, the Spanish boss fell short of saying whether he would be prepared for Xhaka to be captain again in the future.
Arteta said: “Hopefully, I have 24 captains. There is not one way to be a captain. Be yourself, express yourself and play with passion.”
Arsenal now have a tricky game at Sheffield United in the FA Cup sixth round.
And Arteta is hoping to win the Cup as both a player and manager after skippering the club to their 3-2 win over Hull in the 2014 final.
Hoping to reach the semi-finals at Wembley, Arteta said: “It is always exciting to go to Wembley. Although without fans it will not be the same.
“I will try and transmit to the players about the experience of Wembley and it will be worth the effort. We only played on Thursday but we must go again.”
Meanwhile, Arteta refused to comment on French reports that Matteo Guendouzi has told the club he wants to leave.
Guendouzi was slammed by fans after he grabbed Brighton striker Neal Maupay by the throat following the club’s 2-1 loss.
Asked about the player’s alleged request, Arteta said: “I said the other day in the press conference what was an internal issue and we will deal with it privately.”
By: Dave Fraser
Title: Arteta delighted Arsenal fans can hear ‘natural leader’ Xhaka’s booming voice but dodges captaincy question
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/11965800/arsenal-arteta-xhaka-leader-voice/
Published Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2020 17:53:53 +0000