Fabregas proud to take Arsenal armband

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The Independent Football

New Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas admits being given the captaincy by Arsene Wenger is "a big responsibility" but is relishing the chance to lead his side out of their current slump.

The 21-year-old Spain midfielder was today named captain after defender William Gallas was stripped of the armband following his ill-advised criticism of team-mates last week.

The young Catalan was thought to be in the running for the role when Thierry Henry left the club 18 months ago but Wenger opted for Gallas instead.

And now the influential midfielder - already one of the most senior players in Wenger's young squad - has been given his opportunity by the Gunners boss.

Fabregas will lead the side out in tomorrow's Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev and told Arsenal.com: "It is a great honour for me to captain one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"It is a proud moment. I know it's a big responsibility but together with my team-mates, I know we have the spirit and commitment to get back to winning ways and fulfil our potential."

Wenger hopes the responsibility will not be too heavy for Fabregas, calling for "shared leadership".

"A successful team has a shared leadership inside the dressing room and he will be one of the leaders but not the only one," Wenger said.

"It is very important that we share that leadership inside the dressing room."