Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka had admitted that he would “think twice” if he was ever offered the chance to captain the club again.
Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy following his behaviour towards the club’s fanbase and was replaced in the role by striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
He was subsequently linked with a move to Hertha Berlin during the January transfer window, but he has become a key member of Mikel Arteta’s side since the Spaniard took over from Unai Emery.
And speaking about the captaincy role, he told the Evening Standard: “I know with or without the armband what I can give the team.
“But in this moment [against Palace] I don’t want to take the armband back, but Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] and David [Luiz] told me I have to take it.
“If one day the club asks me about the armband, I have to think twice.”
When asked if he weighed up leaving Arsenal in January, Xhaka added: “Of course, I don’t lie. There was a moment, because it was not easy for me and my family. I hope people understand this.
“But I think I showed my character. I am not a guy who runs away. I always say to the club, ‘When I [am] here, I am ready to give everything’. It was like this always. I train very hard and that things turned around is the key. This [has given me] the most happiness.”
Meanwhile, Eddie Nketiah has spoken fondly of his time at Leeds earlier this season and believes his tough loan spell under Marcelo Bielsa helped him prepare for the battle to become Mikel Arteta’s first-choice striker at Arsenal.
The 20-year-old scored his first Premier League goal of the season in Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Everton and, having started the last two league games under Arteta, appears to have displaced France international Alexandre Lacazette in the Gunners XI.
After a few false dawns, including a goal just seconds into his senior debut, a lack of game time under previous head coach Unai Emery and an aborted stint in the Championship at Leeds, Nketiah already has enough experiences to use as positives now he is in the Arsenal side. Read more…