Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have been a better choice to be the Gunners’ captain, after Granit Xhaka was announced as the team’s permanent skipper last week.
The Swiss midfielder was part of Unai Emery’s five ‘captains’ upon the Spaniard’s arrival in North London last year, although it is thought that the 27-year-old was awarded the armband following a vote among his Arsenal peers.
However, Keown disagrees with the decision – and thinks that the in-form Aubameyang would have been more suitable to the role – displaying his surprise that the supposedly error-prone Xhaka was selected.
He told TalkSPORT: “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 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.
“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.”
In Xhaka’s defence, he did seem like a rather natural choice to assume the role of captain, given he was the club’s stand-in skipper in the opening fixtures of the season.
As for Aubameyang, it could be argued that added responsibilities could get in the way of his current good form – though that did not seem to curtail Robin van Persie as he marched towards a Golden Boot with the armband on his sleeve in 2011/12.
But considering Xhaka has had something of an audition in the role, it seems like his teammates have given him a vote of confidence in continuing to back him as the team’s leader – and with not much changing as a result, it hardly seems like an issue that Keown should get too worked up about.
Arsenal fans, is Xhaka the right choice for the role of captain? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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