Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed three players who are candidates to replace Laurent Koscielny as the club’s captain.
With the Frenchman having refused to tour the United States and seemingly destined to leave the Gunners this summer, Emery was asked about potential alternatives to take the armband and he replied:
“We have players with the capacity [to be captains]. One is Granit. Last year also he played so much as a captain and was like a captain in the dressing room.”
“We also have Mesut and Nacho, and also other players, they can take this position also. I want from three to five captains in the team.”
Fans on Twitter were not that impressed by the names the Arsenal boss mentioned:
Xhaka (Captain) Bellerin (Vice Captain) make it happen
— isyraf (@isyrafholmes) 17 July 2019
All the players he named shouldn’t still be at the club 😭 @mikey5x
— JSA (@afcJSA) 17 July 2019
Imagine having Xhaka, Ozil, and Monreal as your captains. Truly embarrassing
— The Boston Gooner (@thebostongooner) 17 July 2019
— RDD (@RDD_Roma) 17 July 2019
Oh god please not Xhaka
— Pink (@PinkBorussia) 17 July 2019
Make Rob Holding captain
— Chris Hanmore (@HanmoreChris) 17 July 2019
Xhaka my man…my captain
— george (@Georgekiprop96) 17 July 2019
— Jackthegooner (@Jack10Gooner) 17 July 2019
— hajj Ahmad (@big_medal) 17 July 2019
That's just a nice way to say Xhaka is the captain. He's the only one of those three who will play regularly.
— IfYouSaySo (@IfYouSa55214622) 17 July 2019
With Petr Cech having retired, and Aaron Ramsey having left to join Juventus, the number of players who would be genuine candidates for the role is pretty limited.
Xhaka would be an obvious contender as he is a regular first-team player, while he has also captained both his club and country on a temporary basis in the past.
The Swiss international is unlikely, though, to be a popular choice among fans. Nacho Monreal would also only be a short-term solution while Ozil’s future is still up in the air.
Hector Bellerin or Rob Holding would certainly be better received by supporters but it doesn’t appear Emery is considering the pair going by his comments.