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Arsenal news: Granit Xhaka looks favourite to be new Arsenal captain… FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED

There were plenty of promising signs for Arsenal after they secured a late win against Bayern Munich through Eddie Nketiah in Los Angeles. 

Granit Xhaka looks like the man most likely to succeed Laurent Koscielny if he is stripped of the captaincy and the attacking play was slick. 

Here, Sportsmail looks at five things we learned from Arsenal 2-1 Bayern Munich.  

New captain after Koscielny

The Arsenal captaincy is seemingly up for grabs after Laurent Koscielny’s decision to go on strike. 

There is surely no way he can wear the armband again, even if he stays. There was another hint that Granit Xhaka is in pole position to replace the Frenchman when he led Arsenal out against the Germans at Dignity Health Sports Park. 

Gunners boss Unai Emery is planning to construct another leadership group of up to five players and Xhaka looks primed to lead it, having got the nod in a strong Arsenal team ahead of other possible contenders likely to be in this season’s pool of possible skippers Sokratis, Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil.

Laurent Koscielny looks like the favourite to take over from Laurent Koscielny as captain

Laurent Koscielny looks like the favourite to take over from Laurent Koscielny as captain

Case for the defence

This was a new look Arsenal sporting their fresh yellow strip in a nod to their bruised banana kit of the early-90s but one with a similar feel. 

There were no new faces in the side Emery started with, his strongest possible, and only one, youngster Gabriel Martinelli, has arrived so far this summer. 

Arsenal fans then got another sense of déjà vu when they almost conceded a calamitous own goal when they were dispossessed trying to play out from the back.

Bernd Leno and Sokratis got in each other’s way in a comical mix-up before the Gunners goalkeeper pounced on the ball just as it looked like Bayern were about to pounce. 

And then another when Shkodran Mustafi misjudged Serge Gnabry’s cross to allow Robert Lewandowski to score, the latest in a string of second half scares following the half-time introductions of the impressive Kingsley Coman and Gnabry. 

It was also worth noting, though, that the Gunners’ backline could be significantly shored up by day one of the new Premier League season and be almost entirely new by Christmas. 

Left-back Kieran Tierney and a new senior centre-back are expected to arrive and Hector Bellerin is looking at a December return from this serious knee injury.

Bernd Leno was forced into making a few saves after some calamitous mix-ups at the back

Bernd Leno was forced into making a few saves after some calamitous mix-ups at the back

Encouraging attacking signs

Going forward there was plenty to cheer about for Emery from Arsenal’s first big run out of pre-season. They played some slick, fluid, entertaining stuff. 

Ozil was roaming, dangerous and creative, though might have expected to have taken at least one of the two clear chances he created. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette also looked sharp against the German champions. 

Aubameyang set up Arsenal’s own goal opener and great chances for Ozil and sub Reiss Nelson though somehow missed a second-half sitter himself. 

Lacazette showed his alertness when he almost pressed Manuel Neuer into conceding an early goal. Youngster Joe Willock caught the eye with a combative performance in midfield.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) and Mesut Ozil (right) were on song for the Gunners

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) and Mesut Ozil (right) were on song for the Gunners

Stan Kroenke in the house

The owner’s absence from Arsenal games is now the norm. To the point nobody was taking the possibility seriously when it was suggested he would be on board a helicopter that landed in a field next to the stadium before kick off. 

But to the surprise of many, Kroenke was indeed one of the passengers who climbed out and was making a rare appearance at an Arsenal game. 

It was the second show of greater influence from the Kroenke family. Director son Josh issued a public letter to fans earlier this week and conducted an interview after Arsenal’s friendly against Colorado Rapids in response to fan criticism and now this from the man at the very top. 

Of course, Kroenke making the relatively short journey from Denver to LA is unlikely to appease the Arsenal fans who referenced his absence from London in their call for change this week and his attendance had long been planned but it was certainly notable.

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke made the trip to LA to watch his side play against Bayern Munich

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke made the trip to LA to watch his side play against Bayern Munich

Serge Gnabry

As Arsenal chase a new winger this summer it is impossible not to wonder what might have been with Gnabry. The 24-year-old seemed only too happy to show Arsenal when he came on at the break. 

Gnabry is a player transformed now and comes into this season as Bayern’s reigning player of the year and a Germany regular. 

That confidence and increased threat he now poses showed straight away when he went close to scoring at the end of a direct run soon after the restart and then again when he threatened Emiliano Martinez’s goal once more after being slipped through. 

The end product that he was threatening duly came in the 70th minute when he set up Lewandowski’s headed equaliser.

No blame can be attached to Arsenal for Gnabry’s exit three years ago. He wanted to leave due to what he considered a lack of action and has revived his career back in his homeland over the following years.

But seeing the genuine danger man he has become will ensure there will still be some lingering regret about how things panned out for Gnabry at the Emirates.

Serge Gnabry showed Arsenal what might have been and looked a player transformed

Serge Gnabry showed Arsenal what might have been and looked a player transformed

Original article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7259685/Eddie-Nketiah-came-bench-score-winner-against-Bayern-Munich-FIVE-THINGS-LEARNED.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

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