• News

Why did Granit Xhaka refuse the Arsenal captain’s armband?

Granit Xhaka, Arsenal
Getty Images

The Swiss midfielder raised a few eyebrows by turning down the captain’s armband during the 2-1 win against Brentford.

Granit Xhaka refused to take the captain’s armband as it was intended for Kieran Tierney, according to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka’s goals sealed a 2-1 win over Brentford on Saturday, moving Arsenal just a point behind fourth-placed Manchester United – who have played two more matches – in the Premier League table.

Deep into the second half, however, Xhaka left some fans bemused by refusing the captain’s armband when Eddie Nketiah tried to give it to him.

Nketiah, who replaced skipper Alexandre Lacazette as a substitute, eventually gave the armband to Tierney.

“Because it was for Kieran. Kieran was the next in line and that’s the reason why,” Arteta told Sky Sports about Xhaka’s refusal.

Asked if Nketiah got the wrong instructions, the Gunners boss added: “Maybe Eddie didn’t pick it up and Granit told him he should have to give it to Kieran. That’s it.”

Arsenal return to action on Thursday at home to Wolves in the Premier League.