As Arsenal waved goodbye to Mikel Arteta at the end of the season, we were also waving goodbye to our captain. Arteta’s retirement now raises the question of which Arsenal star will wear the armband next season with the ambition to lead the team to success.
Arteta took over the captains armband from Thomas Vermaelen in 2014, when the Belgian left the Gunners for Barcelona. Arteta became the 4th Arsenal captain in as many years following on from the departures of Fabregas, Van Persie and Vermaelen and finally seemed to be a player with true leadership qualities and a wealth of experience on the pitch. It was always in the back of our minds however that Arteta would of course be likely to retire fairly soon after he took the captains armband, due to both injures and age. That time has now come and Arsene Wenger will be looking to appoint a new leader going into next season.
A few names have been thrown around and whilst Wilshere seems to be a popular name due to his passion and commitment to Arsenal football club, his reliance to be on the pitch lacks due to injury and so Wenger may not opt for the young Englishman in fear of a repeat of what happened to Arteta. Of course Arteta was injured for the majority of his captaincy at the club and then took up getting his coaching badges meaning he was missing as a captain on the pitch, for the large part of the past two seasons. As a result a number of different captains were named according to the match day squad, a popular candidate being The BFG, Per Mertesacker.
For Mertesacker to then be a favourite to be named as the permanent captain next season therefore would not be a surprise. He has leadership qualities and a commanding voice on the pitch, whilst his ability to read the game is supposedly second to none. However according to the Metro, Mertesacker is unlikely to be named as captain, with Frenchman Laurent Koscielny being the most likely choice for Wenger.
Koscielny joined the club in 2010 and although he seemed to be a rookie buy at first, the French international has developed into one of the best central defenders worldwide. He has a strong voice on the pitch and is sure to take command and control of the players around him, hopefully leading the Gunners to success come the end of the season.
I have always felt that a defender should be made captain in a football club due to their general rough and tough nature and strength in leadership and commanding those in front of them. Defenders, aside from goalkeepers, also arguably get the best view of the game going on in front of them and are therefore able to lead players knowing that they have a good idea of understanding the play occurring in front of them. Koscielny has plenty of years experience with the Gunners and has remained committed to Arsenal despite attracting offers from several top European clubs in his time. Therefore I think Koscielny would be a perfect fit for the next Arsenal man to lead the Gunners out.
Do you think Koscielny should lead the team out next season or is another player a firm favourite to take the armband?