Three players who could captain Arsenal after worrying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admission

Aubameyang has struggled this season....

Aubameyang has struggled this season (Photo: Getty Images).

The Arsenal captain was recently poisoned with the chalice, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being his latest victim.

With just three goals in the Premier League this season, Aubameyang is struggling for form and confidence, which he says makes it even harder for his teammates to wake up.

It’s very difficult to manage both (individually and as captain), but you have to be as positive as possible because the team needs you, the 31-year-old told Sky Sports on Wednesday.

I always try to do my best, not only on the field, but also in the boys locker room. Sometimes it’s hard and you may not be in the right mood, but you have to find a way to change that and give the guys a positive vibe.

The positivity he’s talking about hasn’t been very great in North London this season. 14 points after 14 games is the worst return to the top flight since the 1974/75 season.

Although Mikel Arteta’s team has bounced back in recent weeks, winning four games in a row in all competitions, Aubameyang has failed to keep pace.

Emery has put the captain in charge of picking players.

Emery has added the captain to his list of players (Photo: View photos)

How the Gabon international inherited the captaincy in November 2019 is in itself a highly controversial topic. Former Granit captain Xhaka was stripped of his armband by Gunners boss Unai Emery after the midfielder was involved in a brawl with his own supporters.

During a substitution in the game against Crystal Palace, Haku was kicked off the pitch by the fans and told the fans – in rather colourful words – what he thought of it.

The Swiss international was then sidelined, while the captain almost automatically moved on to the club’s star man, Aubameyang.

When Mikel Arteta was appointed after Emery’s departure, just a month after the Xhaka incident, the new coach may have felt compelled to continue working with Aubameyang to harmonise the dressing room.

But given the Arsenal captain’s troubling comments about the weight of his responsibilities, there are three viable candidates in the team who could be in the running.

Kieran Tierney

Tierney is in great form for his second season at the Emirates.

Tierney is thriving in his second season at the Emirates (Photo: Getty Images).

Although handicapped by injury early in his career at Arsenal, Kieran Tierney showed promise in his first season at the Emirates after leaving Celtic in the summer of 2019 for £25m.

The 23-year-old has kept that promise this season and established himself as a vital addition to Arteta.

Despite Arsenal’s eventful start to the season, Tierney is one of the few players who can honestly say he left everything on the pitch.

Dedicated, energetic, forward-thinking and hard-working – the Scotland international embodies the zeal that has been missing from the Gunners’ teams of late.

Many Arsenal legends, including Ian Wright and Paul Merson, agree that Tierney is the club’s future captain.

Although he has been with the club for less than 18 months, the left-back seems the most logical choice.

Hector Bellerin

Arsenal against Chelsea - Premier League

Bellerin has been with the club for almost a decade (Photo: Getty Images).

Bellerin spent more than six years in Arsenal’s first team after leaving Barcelona for the club’s training ground in 2011. That makes him the second oldest player on the team after Mesut Özil, who looks set to leave this month.

The Spaniard, who is currently vice-captain to Aubameyang, has been a constant under previous leaders Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and now Arteta, despite varying performances over the years.

Mr. Bellerin helped Arteta convince the team to accept a 12.5% pay cut last summer to ease the financial burden of the coronavirus crisis.

There was an initial disagreement in the dressing room, but as a representative of the PFA, Bellerin led the negotiations and helped the players and the club reach a consensus.

The right-back has also earned the love of fans with his off-field ambitions. Bellerin, who has a humanitarian ethos, has promised to plant 3,000 trees for every Arsenal win this season after joining forces with charity One Tree Planted.

Asked about his leadership qualities on the field, he replied on the club’s official website last March: People may not see me as the big man always yelling on the field, or as what people might imagine a captain to be, but there are so many different ways to lead a team.

I’ve known so many different captains and characters in my time here so far, you always get the best out of everyone. My time here has been very rewarding, and whether I was captain or not, I have always been someone who was happy to help and speak from the team’s point of view.

Rob Holding

Holding has dedicated its long-term future to the club

Holding has committed his long-term future to the club (Photo: Getty Images)

Wenger only signed in 2016, the Arsenal holding company’s career is at a standstill. After starting to make a name for himself, a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament of the knee put him out of action for more than eight months in December 2018.

However, the 25-year-old is back in top form and has now established himself as a regular in the Gunners’ first team.

Gabriel’s solid character in parallel with his summer signing and his best performances of late have earned him a new long-term contract until 2024 at the Emirates.

The defender is not afraid to speak his mind and has done a good job of strengthening the Arsenal defence of late.

With the return of William Saliba on loan until the summer, David Luiz’s contract expiring at the end of the season and Sokratis about to leave, the way is clear for Holding to take over the position of central defender.

If Arteta wants to change captains, standby could be an option if he stays consistent and can continue to take a starting spot.

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