Who will Unai Emery pick to replace Laurent Koscielny as Arsenal captain?

If there is one thing that is an absolute certainty following Laurent Koscielny refusal to go on the tour of America it is that Arsenal will be needing a new captain.

It is inconceivable that the Frenchman will retain the captaincy even if he made a full public apology and jumped on a plane to the States.

The Mirror is claiming that Granit Xhaka is favourite to replace the 33-year-old defender and they may well be right but there are other strong candidates for the role.

We ran a poll on our forum, albeit a very unscientific one, and Alexandre Lacazette came out on top and a few weeks ago we published an article putting down claims for Bernd Leno.

So there are a good few candidates and that is going to be a problem for Unai Emery to navigate.

He has to choose someone that gets the respect of the team, as well as being welcomed by the fans and that is not going to be easy.

Anyone reading the comments on certain posts on this site will see there is a good number of fans that want Xhaka sold nevermind be captain.

Lacazette would be a good choice but some fans prefer a defender and so why not Sokratis and on and on the arguments will go.

It all points to one thing, the club does not have what you could class as a standout leader, there is no Tony Adams, Roy Keane, John Terry or even a Steven Gerrard and that underlines one of our greatest weaknesses.

That said, being chosen as a captain could be the making of a player so maybe there is hope for Mustafi.

OK, calm down, that was a joke but the point stands, giving the job to a Xhaka or Sokratis could see a totally different player emerge, a leader.

But all said and done, Emery has a big call to make and he had better get it right.


  1. Since Monreal is staying, he would be the strongest candidate. Followed by Ozil and Xhaka, because they are old enough and have been serving long enough

    Arsenal had better sell Koscielny as soon as possible, otherwise he would discontent or influence the other Gunners as what happened in Sanchez’s case

    Still excited to wait for the youngsters’ actions, but they cannot be distracted by their seniors’ attitude

    1. I see where you are coming from but I only see Monreal as back up
      As for the other 2 one should be sold and the other should be a bench warmer
      Unfortunately we haven’t had a good captain ..leader..inspirational person..organiser on the pitch for years
      Captains now go up for the toss. Decide what end you are kicking
      Kos was never a good captain for us….in my opinon
      Laca is my choice. He shows desire heart passion but not sure on his man management skills. Orgainisal skill ect
      Who ever is appointed it cant be worse then we have now. It would be great to find a leader again amongst our players

    2. Honestly, we are not making progress as a club. We need to spend at least 100m pounds this summer.

      Players we need: Ryan Fraser, Ziyech, Thomas Partey and Chukwueze. These four players will improve us tremendously.

      Ryan Fraser(20m pounds): buying this guy would be good business. He can play on the wings and also in the midfield. We can play a 433 formation where Fraser’s Work rate and high energy will be useful either in midfield or at the flanks.

      Ziyech(30m pounds):this is a no brainer. We need players who can take the game to the opposition. Ziyech is top quality. We need two wingers. And buying ziyech will improve the team tremendously.Quality wingers peg opposition full backs in their half. They win penalties and give the team an outlet when under pressure.

      Thomas Partey(35m pounds): This is a player with strength and aggression. To play a 433 system, you need very strong high energy players with stamina. Truth be told, we presently have a weak midfield. Guendouzi imo is still raw. Partey is quality. He is strong on the ball. We should have midfielders that can run all day. Fearless. Midfielders who close spaces and very aggressive. Partey is that steel we need in midfield.

      Chukueze(20m pounds): This guy playing presently in Villarreal is quality. A winger with pace, skill and very direct. Buy him and you have a gem for years. It is only a matter of time before the top teams in Spain would call him. Watch his games against Barça and Madrid. He nutmegs Ramos and Pique. When he is with the ball, defenders panic. Forget Zaha. Chukueze is the player to get. If he works on his finishing, then we have a gem. A top quality player.
      As for the defense, well we should integrate Beilik into the team. Our defense as a unit needs training. Get these players and we will be competing for the EPL next season.Im not talking about Tierney because I guess it is a done deal. We will be having 6 quality players in the midfield. Xhaka, Partey, Torrerra, AMN, fraser, Guendouzi. In attack: Aubameyang, lacazette, Ziyech, Chukwueze, Martinelli, Iwobi, Mkitaryan.
      Sell Ozil, Mustafi, Elneny,Kos.loan out Nketiah.This squad. That is 100m pounds investment. Makes sense than buying Zaha for 70m pounds.Buy first and sell the players you don’t need later. That squad can will the league.

        1. I watched it too, I thought he tried to hard to do everything alone… just pass the ball!! I thought, bar the goal, the whole team had a shocker!!
          When I saw the name ‘Bennacer’for Algeria, I thought I recognised it ?

          1. Maybe it was the nerves Sue! Yes, I also noticed that Bennacer fellow. It also worried me that they used VAR and still got a penalty call wrong in the 48th minute. I wonder will this happen in the premier league too?!

          2. Could well have been! I guess after yesterday, his fee will have gone down a little ?
            If Bennacer is sold, apparently we’ll get a percentage!
            I know.. one minute I love the thought of VAR, the next I’m absolutely dreading it!!!

      1. I like your selection, however for these talents to sign, our “talents” have to move,except Ramsey gone, none of the rest want to move/are wanted by others, so Partey has a chance in Ramsey’s position. Even Crystal Palace do not seem interested in our”talents” and prefer 80M upfront payment!Fanerbache not interested in Ozil. Bordeaux want Kos free. No one even talks of Kolas and Mkhi in the transfer market.All I can infer is that Arsene signed all this players and payed the price (sacked) so much that no other club wants/trusts Arsene either!!

      2. What do you think we are trying to do the likes of Ozil Mustafi, Elneny clubs are not interested at the moment and until there is movement we stuck

    3. Ozil for captain!!! Are you f’ing joking!

      The man who doesn’t show up himself, who puts his head down when things aren’t going right, who doesn’t communicate with the team and who cannot lead by example!!!!?

      You want him as our captain!!!??

      What a sad state of affairs..

  2. We have several who could be named captain, but don’t believe we have a leader.

    Leaders are born, there is a fire and drive in them, a will and purpose. You don’t wonder if someone is a leader, you know right away.

    Not sure we have a leader to be honest.

    1. Football issues aside..

      I learnt something great from your comment Durand..

      Nice one

      Can’t we get an edit and like button?

      Your constructive critics can be your best ladders

  3. We gave Ozil the band last season and we all know how that turned out. Xhaka is a liability at best. Laca was outstanding last season, is always fired up, gets on with his teammates, etc. Sadly I have to agree that no one player really inspires complete confidence and therein lies one of our central issues as a squad. We need more players ready to go to battle.

  4. The captain should posses the skills, strong character on and off the pitch and be an inspiration/motivation to others.Sadly Kos has none of the above, so does the rest, except Laca. Since PV left we never had a stand out captain that led to the 5-0,6-0,8-2 defeats over the years. (Losing 2-1,3-2 is acceptable).The nearest to a proper captain was RVP IMO.Would not agree to Monreal as he seldom plays, and we need a leader on the field. Emery’s problems at AFC grow by the day!

    1. Yes, Vieira was dominant and Van Persie set a great example with his goals at that time

      If Monreal becomes the new captain, Emery might have to use a three-CB formation again to accommodate him

  5. Not Özil – he’s weak, mentally and physically
    Not Xhaka – he leads by example, meaning mistakes after mistakes
    Not Mustafi – he just shouts and blames his team mates when he’s the idiot committing the mistakes
    Not Monreal – he’s not commanding, and he’s leaving next summer

    My choice? Sokratis or Holding. They give their all for the badge. They fight. Other one has passion, other one is calm.

    1. Holding is too young and inexperienced
      Sokratis just joined last season. He Doesn’t deserve it.

      Monreal isn’t leaving this season so he can be a captain for 1 season. Also he has seniority. He’s always in the starting line-up when not injured

      I’d go with Monreal personally

    1. Holding? The lad barely even plays 10 games a season! If he’s in contention for the captaincy, Emery may as well leave it to chance and ask every Tom, Dick and Harry in the squad to draw straws.

  6. Admin Martin

    How can you miss out citing veira when it comes to leadership in arsenal for that matter…and you recall Gerrard etc…

    Sokratis is a perfect fit..
    If the club wants to go by years served etc..and futuristic..holden cuts the image.

    Xaka isn’t fit to be captain..he’s like a child..he can’t control him self,it’s others he wants to control? All the goals he’s cost arsenal were simple use of brain errors he refused to use his brain.

    Don’t make lacazete captain.it will weigh him down and his goal hustling and scoring opportunities

    1. The captaincy didn’t seem to weigh RVP down and his goal hustling and scoring opportunities! Fabregas as well kept popping assist from every corner of the pitch when he was made captain.

  7. Admin Martin

    How can you miss out citing veira when it comes to leadership in arsenal for that matter…and you recall Gerrard etc…

    Sokratis is a perfect fit..
    If the club wants to go by years served etc..and futuristic..holden cuts the image.

    Xaka isn’t fit to be captain..he’s like a child..he can’t control him self,it’s others he wants to control? All the goals he’s cost arsenal were simple use of brain errors he refused to use his brain.

    Don’t make lacazete captain.it will weigh him down and his goal hustling and scoring opportunities

    1. I wanted to choose one from each club and chose Adams, just examples that is all, nothing meant by it.

  8. Captaincy should go to either Lacazette or Aubameyang. Both are exemplary performers. Auba league top scorer, Laca gives 100% every game. I’d lean towards Lacazette as Aubameyang even though a reliable attacker, tends to disappear in games sometimes.

  9. We lack leaders sadly
    None of the candidates are perfect to be captain really

    My vote is for MONREAL
    He’s not perfect but best choice
    He’s been here for a while
    He’s always in the starting line-up when not injured
    I want a defender to be captain
    I think he is more deserving

    Sokratis, Torreira, Kolsanic havn’t been here long enough
    Holding is inexperienced and too young

    I want Xhaka, Ozil, Mustafi to be sold not become Captain LOL. Unlikely but dreams do come true sometimes

  10. I’m happy koz took a strike option.
    If arsenal want to be stupid not to buy a CB, that’s their problem.
    Imagine having beleik, yet they are wasting money for someone not playing till next season.
    Good koz.

  11. In my opinion the only
    One we have close to
    Captaining a big team/club
    IS LENO laka’s game is great
    His energy and work rate but
    I don’t see him as one but his close
    Because of those qualities

    1. I love Lacca Sue not sure he would be a good skipper though, Don’t even mention Xhaka he is toilet and we need to get him gone.

      1. I agree with you Tommo, about having no leaders… I do like how Laca gives everything though, but to be fair, I don’t think we have many candidates to choose from ?
        Does seem odd about Koscielny – a complete u turn – I did read that a pay cut & performance related pay was mentioned – might have something to do with his decision!
        And yes, yes, yes Xhaka has to go!!

        1. Yes Sue,I would not be surprised if there is more to it Kos is not the sort to do this, something has rattled his cage big time,and yes Lacca could be a skipper for now he certainly works hard has some sublime skills and a never say die attitude that I like, I don’t see it in many of the rest.

  12. The captaincy is the kiss of death and it usually means you’re on your bike on the near future.
    On that basis, I could suggest lots of candidates! ??

  13. Please can someone tell
    Me why we are keeping
    Monreal thought after
    Last season after how it
    Went and what we saw we
    Are actually looking to
    Move on…..monreal has
    Done all he can for this
    Club for God’s sake must
    He be embarrassed by fan’s
    Before the club decides to
    Let him go…seems the club
    IS afraid of spending ???

  14. We do not have a leader full stop,even Kos was not a stand out leader he is brave and would play through the pain barrier but he is no Adams or Veierra we are miles away from these legends of our club,to me this is where we have struggled big time,please do not even mention Xhaka or Socratis,these are not and never will be leaders,I am at a loss and do not know where we are heading, the club is a mess,I do not believe that this is all Kos’s doing he is in the wrong and should be punished,Adams or Veierra would never have done this but he is a respected figure and would have run through walls for this club there is more to this I am sure.

  15. Let Kochielny leave
    For nothing he has
    Been loyal all this years
    He has been here I don’t
    Like it but damn it
    Am tired of making
    Money for this club
    That is never reinvented
    Anytime we make a big
    Signing it’s always to
    Avoid fans fury.. rather
    Than to achieve something
    How the mighty have fallen
    Let kochielny be, the man
    Has done nothing he has
    Been here for years and
    We have seen nothing over
    Those years that sujests
    His not a complete gentleman
    What is bad in him refusing
    To make money for the club
    It’s not like it’s reinvented
    In the team….let him be

    1. Yes totally agree.
      Its just a ploy to keep the price of a replacement down by saying
      because we have Kos we won’t pay the price your offering.
      Then when they get a knocked down deal they will let Koz go on a free.
      Its just business but this is not just any old player.
      Not like haggling over 3 mill for Carl Jenkinson.
      Koz was our best defender for a decade.
      He was an amazing warrior who kept us in the CL year after year
      and kept Wenger in his job for years too.
      He was paid very low wages for years while injury wrecks like
      Wilshere and Diaby got paid much more yet Koz never complained.
      He also played through terrible pain and again never complained.
      Sanchez and Ramsey sloped off on free’s for 400k salaries.
      Now the club is vilifying an all time great over 5 mill.
      Totally disgusting.
      As for so fans sticking the boot into Koz.
      Fake plastic come to mind.
      The Lyon game should be a great send off for Kos an Arsenal legend.

  16. It’s a poor indictment and reflection out the state of our club when I struggle to find someone who can perform, lead and inspire.

    Maybe torriera although maybe he would need a translator with him on the pitch to get his and the managers message out!

    How the mighty have fallen.

  17. To be fair Koz and Mertz were reluctant captains.
    Arteta had the smarts was a yes man for Wenger but did not really have the talent.
    Van Persie was unruly and tempestuous most of his career and still wore the armband.
    Fabregas was a very young captain.
    Even William Gallas captained the Gunners 🙂
    So any one can captain Arsenal.
    So I have to admit it Xhaka is the obvious choice and I am ok with that.
    Besides there are more pressing issues.

  18. I hope there is a dressing room badass in the ranks and whoever it is should be the captain. If such a character doesn’t exist then it doesn’t matter who’s the captain.
    The Koscielny dispute will probably shake-up the dressing room enough for us to be happy should Arsenal stay in the top 6.
    There we go, it took me two months to go back to being negative. Thanks, Arsenal!

  19. This really highlights one of the major problems at Arsenal. We’ve not had competent captains since Vieira. A captain has to be a strong leader on & off the pitch, a master of his craft/position, good temperament, can motivate others, a person that other players can look up to & a good communicator. He should understand & uphold the club’s values to the highest standards & honor the badge on & off the pitch.
    Who do we have at the moment that has such qualities? In my opinion, NONE! Laca is the closest thing to a captain material at the moment.
    Holding & Leno have the chance to be future captains, but they need at least 2 consistent seasons to show if they are worthy enough to wear that armband.

  20. Given what usually happens to our captains, my pick is Mustafi, if not Ozil. Hope those two will be the next to leave

  21. It’s simple let the players vote
    Who they want to be their captain
    This is 21st century….liverpool
    Did it when Henderson was injured
    And Milner still recovering that
    Was why van dyke became their vice
    Captain… To me it shouldn’t only
    Be the longest serving player things
    Do change it’s not about ur time been
    At a club it’s about handling a responsibility

    1. Ok let me type the way it will
      Be easy to read
      Selecting this days is not too difficult
      The coach can even tell the players
      To select who will be the captain
      By simply allowing them (players)
      To vote…
      This is 21st century….liverpool
      Did it when Henderson was injured
      And Milner still recovering, the
      Coach asked his players to vote
      Who they want to be their vice captain
      And van dyke was voted for and went ahead
      To be a great vice captain…
      To me it shouldn’t only
      Be the longest serving player
      That should be the captain
      things do change it’s not always
      How long you have been at a club
      it’s about handling a responsibility

  22. Bellerin should be captain, he eats, sleeps and lives for Arsenal.
    Not only that, he would bring some stylish dress sense to the position?

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