Arsenal’s players are reportedly in favour of Granit Xhaka retaining the captaincy despite the midfielder’s angry reaction to the club’s supporters during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last weekend.
Xhaka waved his arms and reacted angrily to jeers from the home crowd as he was substituted at the Emirates, cupping his ears to the Arsenal support and mouthing ‘f*** off’ before removing his shirt.
The Switzerland international has been a much-maligned figure at the club and the incident was not the first time he has been booed by Arsenal fans, though his reaction to the fan’s abuse has left his position at the club uncertain.
The Arsenal squad voted the 27-year-old as the club’s new captain following Laurent Koscielny’s summer departure to Bordeaux, though the decision caused surprise as the midfielder has proven to be a divisive figure since his arrival from Borussia Monchengladbach three years ago.
Manager Unai Emery and technical director Edu are expected to fine Xhaka following the incident, whilst a decision will be taken on whether he retains the armband following the supporters’ outrage.
According to the Times, Xhaka remains a popular figure in the dressing room and the club’s squad are in favour of the player continuing as captain, though whether his position has been made untenable remains to be seen.
Should Xhaka be stripped of the captaincy, Hector Bellerin would be the favourite to succeed the midfielder, though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and David Luiz would also likely be in contention.