Arsenal’s French defender Laurent Koscielny reacts after losing during the UEFA Europa League final football match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijian, on May 29, 2019. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny has most likely already played his last game for Arsenal. The Frenchman shocked the majority of the fan base after refusing to travel with the squad for pre-season and he is now expected to move on before the start of the Premier League.

Unai Emery will need to find a new captain to fill the 33-year-old’s boots in the coming days and here are three potential candidates for the role.

Granit Xhaka:

The Swiss international led his former side Borussia Monchengladbach and is one of the favourites to take over the armband. Xhaka has been very vocal, both on and off the pitch, and has shown signs of being a real leader.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JULY 16: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal before the match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup at the Dignity Health Sports Centre, Carson on July 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

With over 400 senior career games for club and country, the 26-year-old has the experience to lead his side and Emery should have him high on the shortlist for the armband next season.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

A warrior in the heart of the defence, Sokratis was by far Arsenal’s best defender last season and he would be a like for like replacement for current skipper Laurent Koscielny.

CARSON, CA – JULY 17: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal during the 2019 International Champions Cup match between Arsenal and FC Bayern Munich at Dignity Health Sports Park on July 17, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

The Greek international, like Xhaka, is massively experienced having played over 500 games for club and country and his leadership on the pitch as well as in the dressing room could play a huge part in the Gunners’ campaign next season.

Hector Bellerin

A clear fan favourite, Bellerin would be a phenomenal choice to lead the Gunners from when he returns from his injury. The Spaniard is an Arsenal man through and through and has expressed his love for the club on multiple occasions.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on December 2, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Bellerin fully understands the values of the club and knows exactly what is expected of him from the fans. Former Arsenal boss gave the armband to another Spaniard in Cesc Fabregas all those years ago and Bellerin is arguably an even better option to lead the side for the best part of the next decade.

 

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