Over the turbulence of the last six years at Arsenal, Granit Xhaka's defining trait has been his staying power. So perhaps it is appropriate that the vice captain is now preparing the next generation who will step into his midfield shoes when he does eventually part ways with the club.

In between his increasingly sterling on pitch work for Arsenal, Xhaka has been taking the first steps of his coaching career at the Hale End academy, where one of the most talked about youngsters in the English game is under his tutelage. The Premier League's youngest debutant on Sunday, Ethan Nwaneri has been put through his paces by a man nearly twice his age in recent weeks.

"I am doing my coaching license and I have trained [him in] the under-16s," Xhaka, who is studying for his UEFA B License, revealed after Sunday's 3-0 win at Brentford. "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.

"I spoke with one Brenford guy and I told him this guy was 15 and he looked at me and said: 'f--- me, we are looking old!' So yes, of course, when you have 15 years difference you think 'OK, the time is not gone but it is on the way [for me].' But we are enjoying him, he is enjoying us as he has the quality.

"He is not with us a lot in training. I have maybe seen him two or three times now. But he is very shy, of course, but the time will come when he will be more with us. You have to protect him and help him. Football is not everything for him and for us, but yes, the club will help him and the experienced players have to help him."

If anyone is well placed to advise Nwaneri on the highs and lows of the game, it is Xhaka. After all, less than three years ago the idea that he might be guiding the next generation through the ranks at Arsenal was unimaginable. The story is well told now, how the then-club captain swore at supporters and seemed bound for the exit door before Mikel Arteta took charge and begged him for four more months.

Xhaka's redemption arc started some time ago, but it has moved some way beyond just a thawing of tensions. There is genuine affinity from supporters to Xhaka, a player they once booed, one who was seen as the symbolic figure of Arsenal's decline.