Granit Xhaka is the new first-choice captain of the Swiss national team, after the international retirement of his former club teammate Stephan Lichtsteiner.

arsenal fc v watford fc premier league 7
LONDON, ENGLAND: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal signals during the Premier League match on July 26, 2020. (Photo by Rui Vieira/Pool via Getty Images)

Swiss outlet SRF confirmed this week that after the international retirement of long-term national team captain Stephan Lichtsteiner, Granit Xhaka will take over the armband. The team’s Twitter account later verified the news with a message from the player.

Xhaka said: “For me, it is a great honour to be captain of the Swiss national team. But also an honour to take over the position from Stephan Lichtsteiner, who has had an outstanding career.”

As you can see in our full international break fixture list for Arsenal players, Xhaka won’t wait long for his first chance to pull on the armband as the new permanent captain. Switzerland face Ukraine on Thursday night in the first of their Nations League fixtures.

It caps off a positive and encouraging 2020 for Xhaka so far. He started the year in rather uncertain circumstances. He was back in the team after that incident against Crystal Palace, but with lingering rumours about a possible move to Hertha Berlin.

The 27-year-old quickly put those to bed with a run in the team. He earned the faith of his new coach Mikel Arteta and won many of the fans back. The team lifted the FA Cup with him in the side, then the Community Shield.

Now he’s the full-time captain of his national team. A win against Ukraine would be a nice way to celebrate the news, so good luck to Granit tonight!