Granit Xhaka has said he is not ready to return for Arsenal in Saturday’s Premier League trip to Leicester City, head coach Unai Emery has confirmed.
The midfielder has not featured for the Gunners since being stripped of the captaincy after his outburst towards fans during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27.
Emery says Xhaka is not in the right frame of mind to feature for the first team, even though he has been dedicated in training this week.
Not yet,” Emery told reporters on Friday when asked if Xhaka would be back in the squad.
“I spoke with him on Tuesday about how he’s feeling now and how he is in his mind. He’s working well, he’s training well, but he said to me that he’s not feeling good enough at the moment to play.
We are going to wait.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was named Arsenal’s new captain and Emery has backed the striker to embrace the role.
I can remember how we did the process because last year the captains were Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal,” said Emery. “They left the team, at the last moment as well, Koscielny.
In that moment I decided, and also I used the characteristics to find a captain. “After I started with Granit Xhaka because he has the quality to take the captain’s responsibility.
Then after the [Palace] issue, I decided it was better for him not to. Next in line is Aubameyang, the second after him is [Hector] Bellerin, third is [Alexandre] Lacazette and the fourth is Mesut Ozil.