Arsenal boss Unai Emery has hinted that defender Rob Holding could be considered as one of his five chosen captains for the 2019/20 campaign.
According to the Independent, the Spanish boss is planning for life without Laurent Koscielny.
The ex-Bolton Wanderers defender has been missing for several months with a serious knee injury but is close to a return now.
Emery wants to ensure that one of his captains is English, however, which could open the door for Holding.
He told The Independent: “Last year (Granit) Xhaka, Mesut (Ozil) and Nacho (Monreal) were working as captains. But after Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech left – and possibly Laurent Koscielny – I will want more.
“An English player who grew up in our academy can understand the English spirit and Arsenal values. These are the qualities and more.
“We are really happy with Holding’s progress. We need his performances as a centre-back. Before he got injured he was playing with big performances.”
The £25k-a-week performer is currently battling his way back to fitness on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of America.
Five captains does sound a little bit excessive from Emery’s point of view.
Having an English player as an incumbent of the armband on occasions does make a bit of sense, however.
Holding needs to concentrate on winning back his place in the team first.
After a long time out injured, he must get fit and play his way back into Emery’s team.
These comments suggest he is fancied as a star of the future by Emery though, who clearly has big plans for him at the Emirates Stadium.
The 23-year-0ld should take these comments with a pinch of salt and simply use them to regain his confidence.
On the basis that Emery feels that he needs to name five captains in his first-team, a natural-born leader could be firmly on his shopping list this summer.