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Emery still undecided on Arsenal captaincy

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Arsenal coach Unai Emery has said he is yet to complete his decision on the captains for the side after a raft of new players and the departure of the former captain, Laurent Koscielny.

Emery said he has decided on three of his captains but he is yet to fill the remaining two slots as he wants five captains for the season.

“At the moment we have three captains: Xhaka, Mesut and Nacho, and I want to take two more because my opinion is the same as it was in the pre-season with five,” Emery said on Friday.

“I want to be with my squad clearly to have two more. At the moment we have three captains and I think they have the capacity to give us possibilities as captain.”

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The Gunners open their Premier League season on Sunday with a trip to the St James’ Park against Newcastle after completing the signing of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney on the deadline transfer day for the Premier League. Both signings made Arsenal the biggest Summer spenders in the Premier League after they had brought in Gabriel Martinelli, Dani Ceballos (loan) and Nicolas Pepe.

Arsenal also sold first-team players like Alex Iwobi (Everton) and Koscielny (Bordeaux) during the transfer window.

“As you can understand, we are changing players at the last moment and also with Laurent Koscielny, he was the first captain, and he left us five days ago,” said Emery.

“Also, we have had other players come in. Now we have the squad and we have finished the transfer market, but it’s still open in other countries.

“Unfortunately, although we could achieve the [signing of] some players, now in the next 25 days we could lose some players. It’s the reason I want to close my squad clearly [before I decide my captains].

The Arsenal coach also said that the duo of Pepe and Lacazette are in contention for the fixture against Newcastle.

“For some players, it is impossible to achieve that performance because they arrived late or are now training after being injured.

“Lacazette trained yesterday and today but I don’t know know if he can play on Sunday, we will check tomorrow.

“Pepe has been training and working with us a for a week. I want him to feel good with his partners in the team and the coaches because we train differently to how he worked in Lille.

“I want to give him the best moment to play with us and make his debut. Maybe this will be on Sunday, but I will decide tomorrow.”

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