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Who will be Arsenal captain in 2022-23? Candidates for Gunners armband next season

17:00 GMT+3 13/05/2022
Martin Odegaard Arsenal 2021-22
Mikel Arteta has passed leadership duties around at Emirates Stadium in 2021-22, but a permanent appointment will be made ahead of next season

Just 12 men have filled the role of club captain at Arsenal during the Premier League era, with a notable roll of honour featuring illustrious names such as Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and current coach Mikel Arteta.

Various other players have filled an on-field leadership post at times, with the armband currently being passed around at Emirates Stadium following the January departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but few can claim to have enjoyed the honour of being permanent skipper.

Another big call in that department is due to be made ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, as the Gunners look to establish consistency and stability on and off the pitch, but who are the contenders to get that nod? GOAL takes a look...

Who will be Arsenal captain in 2022-23?

With Aubameyang being stripped of captaincy duties in December 2021 following a breach of club discipline, Arsenal needed somebody else to lead from the front.

Alexandre Lacazette has taken that responsibility on a regular basis since seeing a fellow frontman offloaded to Barcelona in the winter transfer window, but he is running down his own contract towards free agency.

Martin Odegaard

With the Frenchman seemingly set to move on, and with Eddie Nketiah now a favoured option of Arteta to lead the line, Martin Odegaard has become a go-to option when it comes to wearing the prestigious armband.

The Norwegian playmaker is already captain of his country and has suggested that he would welcome an opportunity to become full-time skipper in north London.

Odegaard has told TV2: “It's big, of course, but it does not change much. I feel like I'm doing the same things.

“There are more people around who think about it. But it is a great recognition and a great declaration of trust. I take that as a big compliment, but beyond that I do the same as always.”

Kieran Tierney

The 2021-22 campaign has been another frustrating one for Scottish full-back Kieran Tierney, with surgery required on a knee problem that has kept him out of action since the end of March.

He remains a reliable selection choice for Arteta when fit, though, and would be a popular appointment among Arsenal fans were he to be called forward to take on a captaincy role.

Arteta has previously said of Tierney’s ability to lead by example: “I think he can be Arsenal captain as he has the respect and admiration of every member of the staff and every player. It is just the way he is. He does it in a natural way.

“He is a really shy boy as well but he represents all of us in the club; all of the values that we want to instil and are in the DNA in this club.”

Granit Xhaka

Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka would complete a remarkable turnaround with the Gunners were he to be appointed as permanent skipper ahead of next season.

The combative 29-year-old has filled that role once before, but was demoted in November 2019 following a very public outburst against Arsenal supporters as he was booed from the field during a meeting with Crystal Palace.

He has worked his way back into favour since then and told Sky Sports when asked about taking the armband for a second time: “I will never say never. I was not ready for that again.

“A captain of Arsenal can be without an armband and I am trying to lead the game and the players without the armband, but if tomorrow someone from the football club comes and asks if I want to take it I will be here because I know I am ready again to do it.”

Aaron Ramsdale

If the Gunners want a larger-than-life goalkeeper to bellow out instructions to those in front of him from 2022-23, then they may look no further than the first name on their team sheet.

Aaron Ramsdale is now a full England international and first choice between the sticks, with a confident character already stating that he would be happy to become skipper if asked.

He has told FourFourTwo: “Listen, I’d take the responsibility but that’s down to the manager.

“We’ve got a lot of strong characters, though, and a lot of people who I think would be good captains.

“Just to be told 'you’re in a leadership role' – I’d relish whatever. You never turn down a captaincy and I think I’d excel if I was given the armband, but that’s down to the boss.”

Other candidates

Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes has impressed since joining the Gunners from Lille in the summer of 2020, but the language barrier may prevent him from taking the armband as he continues to work on his English.

Ben White is another centre-half that Arsenal have invested considerable faith and funds in, with the classy England international set to stick around in north London for the foreseeable future.

It would appear to be too early for home-grown stars such as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to come into contention for skipper duties, despite their obvious talent, but it could be that another big-money signing is asked to take that role immediately after their arrival if they prove themselves to be deserving.

Arsenal captains in the Premier League era

Player

From/to

Tony Adams

1988-2002

Patrick Vieira

2002-2005

Thierry Henry

2005-2007

William Gallas

2007-2008

Cesc Fabregas

2008-2011

Robin van Persie

2011-2012

Thomas Vermaelen

2012-14

Mikel Arteta

2014-2016

Per Mertesacker

2016-2018

Laurent Koscielny

2018-2019

Granit Xhaka

2019

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

2019-2021