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Xhaka “ready” to become skipper again

Granit Xhaka is ‘ready’ to return as Arsenal captain – two years after losing the role following a huge falling out with fans.

The in-form midfielder believes mutual love has been restored after ‘absolute hatred’ from Gunners fans led to an infamous confrontation when he was substituted in October 2019.

Xhaka, 29, looked set to leave the club but says he is once again a leader on the pitch ‘without the armband’ and would happily return to the captaincy.

The Swiss superstar said he reached “boiling point” 21 months ago after receiving threats to maim him and kill his wife, as well as fans hoping his daughter would get cancer.

And when he was booed at the Emirates after being knocked out in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, he cupped his ear, took off his shirt and went straight into the tunnel.

Now, however, a transformed Xhaka is enjoying one of his best seasons in six years with Arsenal.

And when asked about the captaincy by Sky Sports, he replied: “I would never say never. I wasn’t ready for that yet.

“An Arsenal captain can be without an armband and I try to run the game and the players without an armband.

“But if tomorrow someone from the football club comes and asks me if I want to take it, I’ll be there because I know I’m ready to do it again.”

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