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Xhaka decided against Arsenal return against Leicester City, says Emery

11:57 AM EST 11/8/19
granit xhaka - cropped
The former Gunners captain told his manager this week that he does not feel in the right frame of mind to feature against the Foxes

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.

"The first is Aubameyang because he has experience and he has the respect in the dressing room. 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.

"Every player, we are going to support the four captains, and we are going to support him as our first captain because he has also made one extra step to achieve that responsibility.

"For example, Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] said everybody can take responsibility as a captain. We want to be a strong family here and I know for the supporters it is very important who is the first face, in front, with the captain's responsibility. I decided to give it to Auba, and 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. He has the quality and the values to do perfectly with that responsibility."