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Arsenal news: Who will become Gunners captain if Laurent Koscielny leaves this summer?


Arsenal could be on the hunt for a new captain after Laurent Koscielny refused to travel with the Gunners on their pre-season tour of the United States.

The club are set to open disciplinary proceedings with their skipper after announcing their disappointment with his actions.

Laurent Koscielny in action for Arsenal

He is said to have been offered a three-year deal by Bordeaux, with other Ligue 1 clubs also taking an interest in the former Lorient ace.

Nonetheless, he was expected to be part of the squad flying to the USA on Thursday – but Arsenal confirmed on Thursday Koscielny will stay behind.

“Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour,” a short statement on the club’s official website read.

“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions.

“We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

But who would take on the captain’s armband should he leave? The Daily Star believe it could be Granit Xhaka having missed out on a move to Atletico Madrid.

talkSPORT.com assesses the candidates.

Granit Xhaka

The Gunners midfielder is now unlikely to leave the Emirates having previously been courted by Atletico Madrid.

His three years with the club as a starter stand him in good stead as does his no nonsense personality, along with the fact he’s already vice-captain along with Mesut Ozil.

The main problem with naming Xhaka as captain is that he’s someone who could find himself replaced next summer as the club continue to rebuild.

Xhaka is a Swiss international
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Sokratis Papastathopoulos

The Greek centre-back, 31, has got a wealth of experience having spent five seasons with Borussia Dortmund prior to last summer’s Emirates switch.

He’s a leader in the backline and has dealt with numerous superstar team-mates in his time, which will help with the Gunners, especially as youngsters like Matteo Guendouzi rise to prominence.

Papastathopoulos has been handed the armband before, becoming AEK Athens’ youngster ever captain, aged 19, in 2008.

Papastathopoulos has a wealth of experience to offer in the role

Alexandre Lacazette

It might come as a surprise but the French striker is now 28-years-old and is 12 games shy of a century of matches at the Emirates in his two seasons.

This year he’s become a truly key player with his clinical finishing seeing him notch 19 goals in 49 appearances across all competitions, while he seems to have bought into the club’s philosophy quite extensively.

His form has earned interest from Barcelona and handing Lacazette the captaincy could keep those wolves from the door and ensure they retain at least one of their superstar strikers.

Lacazette could be a wildcard captain
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Nacho Monreal

Set for one last season at the top with the Gunners, Monreal has been a real rock for the club since he joined from Malaga in 2013.

He’s definitely got the credentials as a leader in the squad and the fact he’s an exemplary professional help his case too.

Like Xhaka, though, Monreal isn’t likely to remain with the club for much longer and it might not make too much sense in the long term, or just look like a sentimental appointment given his lengthy service.

Monreal has been a huge success at the Emirats
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Bernd Leno

The German shot-stopper is a superb diplomat and won the adoration of Arsenal fans last summer with his comments upon joining the club.

Leno worked his way past Petr Cech early last year and has now established himself as the No.1 at the Emirates.

He’s set to be their goalkeeper in the long-term and handing him the captaincy offers him excellent chance for growth as a leader and should keep the Gunners in safe hands.

Could Leno be the long-term successor to Koscielny>
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Hector Bellerin

Some supporters might not be massive fans of what the Spaniard gets up to in his time off but the the player’s commitment to Arsenal is undeniable.

He joined the club as a teenager but considers himself a real Gunner and it’s always been said he conducts himself superbly in training.

Branded ‘independent and driven’ the 24-year-old has still got his best years ahead of him and could ply them at the Emirates as captain.

Bellerin saw last season ended early by a knee injury
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