Thomas Vermaelen transfer latest: Mikel Arteta set to be named Arsenal captain as Vermaelen prepares £15m move to Barcelona
Arteta is the current vice-captain and looks to have beaten Per Mertesacker to the armband
Arsene Wenger will resist the urge to hand one of his young guns the responsibility of taking over the captain’s armband as he looks set to name Mikel Arteta as Arsenal’s new skipper.
Thomas Vermaelen looks to be on his way to Barcelona after a £15m transfer was agreed for the Belgian centre-back, with Arteta and Per Mertesacker the leading choices to take over the role. Wenger could look to hand the responsibility to one of his younger players though, with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere potential Arsenal captains for the future.
With Vermaelen on his way, the logic would be to promote current vice-captain Arteta to take the role full-time, having skippered the Gunners for the majority of last season as Vermaelen struggled to break into the first team due to the impressive form of Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
But there are problems with naming Arteta as Vermaelen’s successor. The Spaniard only has a year remaining on his current contract and could leave the club next summer should he fail to negotiate an extension. There is also a chance that he won’t be a regular figure in the team this season with Arsenal looking to strengthen the defensive midfield role that Arteta currently fulfils.
With reported interest in the Sami Khedira, William Carvalho and Lars Bender, Wenger looks primed and ready to delve into the transfer market once again. The 64-year-old Frenchman has already spent over £60m on the additions of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers, but he has admitted that he will look to strengthen the side further should the right opportunity arise.
With doubts over Arteta’s future, Wenger could look to Mertesacker to lead his side as a more long-term option who is a near-certainty for the first team. Arsenal could look to try out Wilshere in Arteta’s position as they look to fit him in to their hugely talented midfield, which could see Arteta pay the price as a result.
Read more: Diaby admits he considered retirement
Rosicky feels he owes everything to Arsenal
Ox wants FA Cup success to breed momentum
Meanwhile, Vermaelen looks set to head to Spain after Manchester United ended their interest in the Belgium international. Louis van Gaal had been keen on signing the 28-year-old, but they called off negotiations when Arsenal wanted Chris Smalling as part of the deal.
Barcelona director Raul Sanllehi arrivied in London this week and is expected to offer Vermaelen a four-year contract worth around £80,000-a-week. Despite the signing of Chambers, Vermaelen’s departure leaves the Gunners a little light at the back, and they could look to add another defender so they do not have to rely on the likes of Nacho Monreal to play as a makeshift centre-back as he has done in pre-season.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Chelsea players allowed 20 minutes to celebrate, says Jose Mourinho after Capital One Cup victory
Liverpool vs Manchester City match report: Stunners from Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson sink Manuel Pellegrini's side
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Arsenal 2 Everton 0 player ratings: Who scored highest at the Emirates?
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 3 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut