The debate on who should be Arsenal’s Captain has been raging all year, ever since Unai Emery made the strange decision to name five captains at the start of this season. Originally Granit Xhaka was confirmed as Arsenal’s new captain, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil all listed as joint captains after a Emery organized a secret vote amongst the players to decide his choice.
It was strange, especially as Ozil rarely played under Emery, and Bellerin and Lacazette were both injured for long periods. Then of course we had the Xhaka saga when the club were going through hard times on the pitch and he was stripped of the captaincy, which left Aubameyang as the new leader by default.
Now, of course, all signs are pointing to Aubameyang leaving the club this summer unless he suddenly signs a new contract, and it would appear that Hector Bellerin now wants to throw his hat into the ring. He told Arsenal.com: “For me, I had been speaking to the coach for a few months and he was telling me that I could be one of the people that could represent the team. I was really happy with it because I’m someone who’s been here for a long time and I know how the club runs. People may not see me as this massive guy who shouts on the pitch all the time or what people may have as a captain in their heads, but there are so many different ways of leading a team.
“Everyone in the team respects each other and we have so many leaders who don’t need to wear the armband to have an impact on how others think. After going through so many different captains and characters from my time here so far, you always get the best things from all of them. The time I’ve been here has been really useful for that and whether I was captain or not, I’ve always been someone who’s liked to help and talk from the team’s perspective.
“I’m not afraid of those things so for me, it’s something I’m very proud of. I’m very honoured to be part of this group and it’s something this team needs. I’m very happy that I was approached and then for the votes I received in the dressing room. That shows my team-mates trust me to do that job, and I’m happy to do it when I have to.
“In the group we have, we have so many different qualities where each person can give what they have to the team. I think it’s really important to have a strong captain but there are also people outside of our leadership group like Papa, like David Luiz, who have gone through a lot and have so much experience. When they raise their voice, they’re listened to as much as the leadership group are.
“That’s more important than anything else. Sometimes it’s not just about having that one figure, it’s about everyone in the dressing room respecting each other, listening to each other and moving forward in the same direction. That’s what we’ve got here at Arsenal.”
Well, he certainly talks like a captain now, and he is hardly too young any more having played over 200 games for the Gunners. Do you think Bellerin should be next in line to be our leader if Aubameyang does move away from the Emirates?