Granit Xhaka to be left out of Arsenal squad for fourth consecutive match

Granit Xhaka gestures as he is substituted
Granit Xhaka has not played since he was booed off during the Crystal Palace game at the end of last month Credit: Getty images

Granit Xhaka will once again be left out of the Arsenal squad for this weekend’s trip to Leicester City as the fallout continues over the club’s captaincy saga.

Xhaka, who was stripped of the armband this week, is not ready to make his return to the side after he told the club’s supporters to “f--- off” when he was booed against Crystal Palace last month.

Unai Emery, the Arsenal head coach, has said Xhaka is “working and training well” but the midfielder will once again be absent this weekend despite the significance of their meeting with in-form Leicester.

It will be the fourth game that Xhaka has missed and Emery said the situation has “not helped” the team, who have surrendered a lead in four consecutive matches and could end the weekend nine points off the top four.

The match against Leicester will be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first game since he was promoted to the role of formal club captain and Emery said the striker needs time to adjust to his new responsibilities.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will begin his captaincy duties this weekend Credit: Getty images

“He has experience and the respect in the dressing room,” said Emery of Aubameyang. “He was the top scorer last year in the Premier League and also I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100 per cent, but we are going to support him. 

“Everybody can take responsibility as a captain. We want to be a strong family. For the fans it is important who is the first face at the front with the captain’s responsibility and I decided to give it to Aubameyang. 

“Everybody also agreed with that decision and now I am telling you he needs time to take that responsibility with confidence but we give him that confidence, I give him that confidence and he has the quality and values to do perfectly that responsibility.”