Four players Arsenal could make next captain after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang demoted

Mikel Arteta determined to keep focus on Arsenal’s win over Southampton

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is searching for a new captain after sensationally stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the armband. Arteta dropped the striker from the matchday squad ahead of the Gunners’ 3-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday and revealed that Aubameyang had breached club rules. 

The 32-year-old was left out as the north Londoners defeated Southampton and it has now been confirmed that he will not be selected for the club’s crunch Premier League clash with West Ham on Wednesday.  

A damning club statement released on Tuesday revealed the news.  

It read: “Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United. 

“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.” 

Express Sport looks at Arteta’s options for his next captain. 

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Martin Odegaard 

Norway captain Odegaard is the early favourite to replace Aubameyang, according to Football.London.  

It would be an incredible promotion for the 22-year-old, who only arrived at the Emirates Stadium on a permanent deal in the summer.  

Odegaard had spent the second half of last season on loan with the North Londoners from Real Madrid. A permanent transfer was then sorted for a fee in the region of £30million.  

The midfielder rose to prominence as a 15-year-old at Stromsgodset before moving to Madrid, rejecting the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool in the process.  

He has been in excellent form recently, scoring in each of his last three matches. 

Kieran Tierney 

Scotland international Tierney is another player in the Arsenal squad with experience of captaining a team.  

He led out Celtic several times when usual club captain Scott Brown was absent.  

The 24-year-old has only been at Arsenal for a year-and-a-half but has already made a positive impression.  

His displays at left-back have made him a fans’ favourite.  

One obstacle preventing Tierney from taking the armband could be that he misses too many matches through injury. 

Granit Xhaka 

It would be quite the controversial move to go full-circle by handing Xhaka the captaincy.  

The Swiss midfielder’s Arsenal career seemed over when he was stripped of the armband after a bizarre outburst against Crystal Palace in November 2019.  

He was jeered off after being substituted and responded by sarcastically clapping and cupping his ears.  

However, Xhaka has recovered and has improved his standing among the Emirates Stadium faithful.  

As a regular starter, the 29-year-old is one of few strong options for the role. 

Alexandre Lacazette 

There are worryingly few members of Arsenal’s squad who stand out as obvious contenders to be club captain.  

Lacazette often wears the armband in Aubameyang’s absence but has struggled for form in recent seasons.  

His goal against Southampton on Saturday was just his second in the Premier League this season.  

The Frenchman would be an unlikely option for the permanent captaincy given that his contract expires at the end of the season and fresh terms have not been agreed. 

However, Arteta may choose to go with a short-term option before signing a leader in the summer. 

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