Granit Xhaka says Alexandre Lacazette is the right choice to be Arsenal captain

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has backed manager Mikel Arteta’s decision to hand Alexandre Lacazette with the captain’s armband.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the campaign as the club captain, but he was recently stripped of the role after a disciplinary breach.

The Gabon international has been dropped for the last five games across all competitions, and there is an uncertainty over his club future.

Amidst this, Lacazette has been captain. The Frenchman has led by example with goal contributions in the last four Premier League games.

Speaking exclusively to The Athletic, Xhaka said that Lacazette is ‘a very important’ person on and off the field, and he is delighted for him.

The Swiss added that the 30-year-old has a lot of respect from other players, and he is the right person to lead the side at the current phase.

He said: “At the moment Laca is our captain and I am more than happy for him. He is a very important person for us on and off the pitch. He is a lovely boy.”

“He has a lot of respect from other players and a lot of experience over the years. I believe you need a player like this: He is always here. He is never too late. A lot of discipline.

“He is a funny guy. He is very open and you can speak with him whenever you want. I believe at the moment he is the right person to be our captain.”

Our view:

Lacazette endured a difficult start to the campaign as he was a regular on the bench. He was often an unused substitute for the league games.

However, he managed to turn his fortunes around in the 2-2 stalemate against Crystal Palace where he scored a last-gasp 95th-minute equaliser.

The Frenchman went through a lean patch thereafter, but he has been in superb form lately with two goals and three assists from four appearances.

Of course, his finishing has not been the best. He squandered a penalty against West Ham United while also missing clear-cut chances versus Leeds.

Despite this, his attitude on the field has been quite exceptional. He has excelled with his high pressing while also brilliantly linking up with attackers.

The big question mark remains whether the Gunners can convince him to stay beyond the current campaign.

The striker has no plans of extending his deal as of now. He is eyeing a long-term extension with a pay rise, but the hierarchy prefer a short-term renewal.

There does not appear any change in stance, but the £18m-rated star could be rewarded with a renewal if Champions League qualification is achieved.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

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