Arsenal news: Unai Emery wants five captains to replace Per Mertesacker next season

Emery suggested that most of his transfer business is now done

Jack Austin@jackaustin_1
Friday 13 July 2018 11:17
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Unai Emery happy with Arsenal recruitment and says more signings are unlikely

Unai Emery wants to have a core of five captains throughout his first season at Arsenal, following the retirement of former skipper Per Mertesacker.

Laurent Koscielny was the vice-captain under Arsene Wenger and led the team for most of his last season in charge but is currently recovering from a long-term injury which will likely see him miss the start of the new campaign.

Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Petr Cech passed the armband around in his absence but with Wilshere now at West Ham and Cech likely to lose his first-team place to new signing Bernd Leno, the Welshman may be the frontrunner for the captaincy.

Emery already stressed the importance Ramsey will have in his team and has communicated to Ivan Gazidis, Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat – who collectively deal with transfers and contracts – that he want the midfielder’s future to be resolved as soon as possible as he is now entering the last 12 months of his contract.

“My first idea is to have five captains in the team,” Emery said. “But at the moment, I don't know the names. I need to know more and also, firstly, Koscielny is the first captain now and for me, I have respect for that.

“Then, we are looking at, looking for, who are the players whose personality is the best in the dressing room. We want to keep the respect for these players and to find the captain and choose very well the best player for that.”

Arsenal made their fifth signing of the summer this week with Matteo Guendouzi joining following the arrivals of Switzerland full back Stephan Lichtsteiner, Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, German keeper Leno and Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira.

However, Emery has suggested that those five could be the total of his summer business, unless a top player suddenly becomes available.

“Normally in my career, the big clubs don't close the (door) or the moment to sign a new player. Today, we are OK. Maybe we can bring in one if there's a very good possibility for them to help us, but the club has done a great job of signing new players and I am happy.

“We signed the players who we needed and only if one player is a big opportunity for us will we sign them. Normally, we are thinking about the young players, the possibility of them staying with us or going to play on loan at another team. We are also thinking about the players who were with us last year and whether we need them to stay with us.

“At the moment, I think the squad is complete. We will only sign another player if there is an opportunity to bring in that one player, or two players. We will only sign a player in the next month if he's a big opportunity.”

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