No obvious replacements in mind to take the Arsenal armband.
Read more Arsenal transfer news.
Arsenal are facing a familiar problem this summer – the likely departure of their club captain and an inconvenient decision to make in replacing him.
For all the positives to take from this transfer window so far, the Gunners are looking at selecting a fifth captain in seven years as their current skipper Thomas Vermaelen continues to be strongly linked with a move to Manchester United – the same side their last leader, Robin van Persie, moved to two summers ago.
Although Vermaelen’s complicated situation at Arsenal means he has barely been leading the side out himself for the last year or more, it suggests that Arsene Wenger is perhaps not the best at judging who best to lead his side, show commitment, and take that kind of responsibility.
While it may have been naive of the Frenchman to think that the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie would resist bigger offers from elsewhere to stay at the Emirates Stadium, it is also a concern that he has previously chosen the likes of Vermaelen and William Gallas before him as captain when the role led to a drastic dip in form shortly afterwards.
Vermaelen’s absence from the Arsenal starting lineup in recent times has seen the likes of Mikel Arteta (official vice-captain) and Per Mertesacker (third choice) take the armband instead.
While the latter may be a decent choice, he probably wouldn’t be the most long-term solution at the age of 29, and the former even less so, with the 32-year-old Spaniard showing his age and perhaps not even set to be first choice in midfield next season with the club seemingly targeting the likes of Sami Khedira and William Carvalho as upgrades in that position.
Elsewhere in the side, this Arsenal squad is made up largely of either a) young players, or b) players who haven’t really been at the club for long enough, or c) players who don’t come across as the most vocal or natural leaders.
Wenger certainly has a big decision to make if Vermaelen does leave, and fanatix assesses the five most likely candidates below:
5) Wojciech Szczesny
Confident, outspoken, popular…Wojciech Szczesny could be an interesting choice for Arsenal to take the captaincy next season.
Despite his occasional mistakes, the Polish goalkeeper has shown enough quality to suggest that he will be the club’s number one for a long time to come and could therefore be a good choice as skipper for the side.
Still, with Arsenal supposedly chasing the signing of Nice goalkeeper David Ospina, there’s no guarantee Szczesny will manage to keep his place, so he is perhaps not ideal.