Published On: Fri, Sep 27th, 2019

‘He has got it wrong’ – Emery told the Arsenal star he should have made captain over Xhaka | Football | Sport

Arsenal boss Unai Emery received a backlash from Gunners fans when he named Granit Xhaka as the club’s new permanent captain.

The role had been passed around the team after Laurent Koscielny’s summer departure, with the Swiss international handed the honour this week.

Club hero Martin Keown has now given his thoughts on the decision, and claimed that Emery has made the wrong pick.

He told talkSPORT: “This is a massive call and I think perhaps he [Emery] has got it wrong.

“This is really going to divide the fans.

“There are times when Xhaka goes missing in midfield, he’s given penalties away… he must be an incredible character off the pitch!

“It’s surprising, particularly how he was booed off the pitch less than a week ago.

“It’s a brave decision by the manager, he’s picked him every time he’s available so he clearly believes in the player, but I’m surprised, I must say.

“You need to be sure the captain is going to be in the team and he’s on borrowed time.

“There are others in that group, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos, who are starting to progress, so if Xhaka is still going to be a permanent fixture than I’m surprised by that.

“I would have gone for Aubameyang, he would have been a pretty good fit.

“It might have given him a little more extra responsibility.

“He’s doing fantastically well at the moment and he’s secure in the team, he’s a regular.”

Aubameyang quickly made his name as a fan favourite at the Emirates after joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2018, and has gone on to score 38 goals in 55 Premier League appearances.

The Gabon international was not one of the players named in Emery’s list of five captains last season, which was depleted by the exits of Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech.

Xhaka’s first game as the club’s official captain will be against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday.

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