Arsenal had five captains within a leadership group last season – Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil, Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka.
Laurent Koscielny was also captain of the club, but his future looks in doubt while Ramsey and Cech have already left the Emirates Stadium.
That has sparked discussion about who will be added to the core group ahead of the 2019/20 campaign and Unai Emery has been speaking about what he’s looking for.
As per Football.London, he said: “Last year Xhaka, Mesut and Nacho 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. We have young players with experience, players starting for the first time to be considered as captains.”
The mention of a young English player got tongues wagging about Rob Holding – perceived to be the best-placed English player to take up the mantle.
But Holding didn’t come through the ranks at Arsenal – he came from Bolton. Only Ainsley Maitland-Niles fits the bill in terms of being English and coming through the ranks, but he only broke into the side last season.
£100,000-a-week (Spotrac) ace Hector Bellerin is Spanish but is an adopted Londoner and has all the understanding of Arsenal’s values that Emery is looking for.
It depends whether being English or coming through at Arsenal is most important to Emery, but as a multilingual, popular player who came through the ranks, Bellerin may have the edge over Holding when it comes to the crunch.