Granit Xhaka is rewriting Arsenal's story, paving the way for 'special' teen prospect Ethan Nuwaneri

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London — In the tumultuous past six years arsenal, Granite Jaka A defining feature was his endurance. So it’s probably fitting that the vice-captain is preparing the next generation to step into the shoes of midfield when he finally leaves the club.

During his increasingly fulfilling on-field work at Arsenal, Xhaka took the first steps in his coaching career at Hale End Academy. He became the youngest player to make his debut in the Premier League on Sunday. Ethan Nuwaneri has been put to the test in recent weeks by men almost twice his age.

“I have a coaching license and I am trained [him in] Xhaka, who is studying for his UEFA B licence, made the announcement after Sunday’s 3-0 win. brentford“You can see the big difference between him and the other players.

“He’s very special. Of course, he’s very young and we have to protect him, but if he keeps working hard like this, he has a great future.”

“I spoke to a guy in Brenford and I told him this guy was 15. He looked at me and said: ‘I look old. Yes, of course, with a 15-year age gap, I think, “OK, the time hasn’t passed, but it’s getting closer.” [for me]’But we enjoy him. He enjoys us because he has quality.

“He’s not often with us in training. I’ve seen him maybe two or three times. Of course he’s very shy, but when he’s with us more you have to protect him, help him, football is not everything for him and us, but the club helps him and the experienced players have to help him it won’t.”

If there’s one person who can advise Nuwaneri on the ups and downs of the game, it’s Jaka. After all, the idea that he might lead the next generation at Arsenal was unthinkable just three years ago. , the story of the club’s captain at the time cursing at supporters and appearing to be tied to the exit door is now a well-told story.

Jaka’s Atonement It started a while ago, but it’s progressing beyond the release of tension. Supporters have a genuine affinity for Xhaka, a once-boosted player who was seen as an iconic figure in Arsenal’s decline.Now he’s playing the best football of his career, but didn’t Brentford his community his stadium’s travel support know that? William Saliba Chant along to the song “Tequila” by The Champs, even louder than debutant Nuwaneri’s applause, “I got Granito Jaka.” He himself was as moved by this as he was when he put on the Arsenal shirt.

“I think he feels love and respect both ways right now,” Arteta told CBS Sports at the post-match press conference. Emotionally, he tries to give more and I’m really happy with him because in my opinion he really deserves it.”

Just last February, it seemed hard to imagine the 29-year-old Xhaka leading his teammates into public adoration when he turned down the chance to take the armband in Arsenal’s home win against Brentford. . As he himself admitted, he thought just that. “Honestly, I never thought it would happen one day. To have my name sung in front of them is so special and emotional. I always wanted it.

“After what happened, I always wanted to give something back to them.

“After what happened again three years ago, it means a lot to me to be captain and stand in front of this team and have the fans cheering me on.”

Just as Xhaka has changed his perception of himself, his Arsenal teammates have been forced to reassess where they are.For the first time in six years, they topped the table in October. , looked one of the Premier League’s best teams when they casually dismantled Brentford on the stunned ground. Manchester United, liverpool And most famously, at the beginning of last season, Arsenal themselves.

There was no repeat of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher’s full-time delirium 13 months earlier. Nor did it have the noisy Sunday lunchtime atmosphere. 2-0 win over Arsenal. Xhaka was so chaotic that night that he was fortunate enough not to be awarded a penalty seconds before Sergi Canos opened the scoring.

On Sunday, Xhaka was determined, the very ‘box-to-box’ midfielder Arsene Wenger labeled him six years ago. Matthias his Jensen sliding his intervention prevented a goal that might have upset the nerves of the visitors.On the other hand, his delicate give-and-go Gabriel Martinelli It could have led the game to a spectacular opening in the first two minutes. His assist would finally come when Gabriel Jesus flicked a cross. David RayaFor a team on a losing streak, this was the ideal response to their loss to Manchester United two weeks ago.

“If you look at us against Brentford a year ago and today, my opinion is [there is] It’s a big, big, big difference,” said Xhaka. “It’s a bit too difficult to say we beat them because I want to respect them, but I think we deserved to win today from the beginning to the 90th minute.”

“Martinelli could have scored a minute later and they didn’t have a single chance, except perhaps once in the 80th, but I’m very happy.

“A few years ago, losing to, say, Manchester United, losing over and over again, that was the problem. [only] after that [do] you go back But I feel different this year and I’ve seen the results here.”

No wonder Jaka felt so. After all, if anyone’s Arsenal story has changed in the last few months, it’s his own. If that rise were to be heavily written across the team this season, it would certainly be a whole other story.