The uncertainty over Thomas Vermaelen’s future has thrown up the debate of who would be Arsenal’s next captain if he eventually leaves. Mikel Arteta though the vice captain, played much of last season as the main captain as Thomas Vermaelen was mostly out of the team. Now that he is leaving, who are the candidates for the captaincy for the coming season?
The first would surely be Per Mertesacker. He should be the name on top the list. The German centre half who has more than an 100 cap for Germany, has been a commanding presence at the back since his arrival three years ago, he captained the team much of last season precisely at the beginning of last season when both Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen were out. Added to that is the fact he is a regular starter, and has a leadership style which makes him the number one.
The other candidate is his defensive partner for much of last season Laurent Koscielny. The French man is not the talking type but goes about his business quietly. He could display his captaincy qualities in the way he defends. The occasional rush off blood to the head which is reflected in his style of defending could be a thing of the past if he assumes the captaincy. Another thing he has going for him is that he starts regularly in the team and is another first choice player.
The third person should be Aaron Ramsey. The 23 year old Welsh man was formerly the captain of Wales, and knows what it means to lead a team. Having endured a difficult time at Arsenal before he came of age last season, his pivotal role in the team makes him a key candidate to captain Arsenal in the coming season. There is a reason why former Wales coach, Gary Speed made him his captain because he has the qualities.
Some would be wondering why Mikel Arteta is not part of the three above. The Spaniard though captain for much of last season, is not expected to be first choice this season in midfield if a defensive midfielder is signed a situation that rules him out of the equation. The captaincy should be handled by a player who plays regularly something that has plagued Thomas Vermaelen since he lost his place in the team.
In the end, of the many sub plots to Arsenal’s new season, one of the sub plots that would raise debate later is who should be Arsenal’s substantive captain for the new season? There is no doubt that, it would be amongst the three listed above most possibly Per Mertesacker.