Granit Xhaka has revealed his plans to become a manager when his playing days come to an end.
The Swiss midfielder is enjoying something of a renaissance in his Arsenal career right now and was given the captain’s armband against Brentford on Sunday.
Just minutes prior to that though Xhaka bore witness to Premier League history as 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri became the youngest player in Premier League history after coming on for the final few minutes at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The talented youngster’s name came out of nowhere for most of those watching on, but curiously enough Xhaka had been aware of him for some time and even played a small part in helping Nwaneri arrive at what is probably the highest point in his nascent career.
“We have to check the passport first!” he quipped when asked about Nwaneri’s record-breaking cameo after the game.
“I am joking. To have a guy who is 15 who is 15 years younger than me… he looks old when I see him but the club can be proud of a player like him. He has a big future.”
“If I am honest, I am doing my coaching licence and I have trained the under-16s. You can see a big difference with him and the other guys. He is very, very special. Of course you have to protect him as he is very young but if he keeps going like this with his hard work he has a big, big future.”
As one of the few players in the current Arsenal squad who is probably closer to the end of his career than the start of it, Xhaka has begun making preparations for what he will do when his playing days are over.
Depending on the number of games he has to play with the first team the Swiss midfielder is coaching the under-16s up to two times a week.
It’s a similar career path to the one current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has followed, and Xhaka admits he is picking the manager’s brains where possible to develop himself as a coach.
“I think Mikel is so smart and clever he knows before everyone,” the Swiss midfielder said.
“I am also taking a lot from Mikel with my coaching and I am enjoying it.”
For now though Xhaka is keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to what kind of boss we can expect him to be in the future. Arrsenal face huge Gabriel Jesus problem as striker could miss crucial Liverpool clash.
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