Arsene Wenger has named Per Mertesacker as Arsenal’s Club captain for 2016/17 season despite the defender being sidelined until the New Year, with the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Santi Cazorla and Petr Cech as stand-ins (via Arsenal.com).
The Gunners line up against Liverpool without their new captain who suffered a serious knee injury against Lens in the opening pre-season friendly, but Wenger believes the German is the “natural” choice as he is a highly respected professional among the players.
Contrary reports suggested Santi Cazorla could be in line to take the armband, the Spaniard is likely to lead the team out against Liverpool however.
“Per is a very respected figure in the dressing room, is loved as well and is also a very demanding figure. I think it is absolutely natural to be [him],” Wenger told Arsenal’s official site.
“[In his absence] that’s where it will be taken by the assistants. One of them will be Koscielny, also Cazorla – the experienced players – Cech maybe.
“We will have a group of people that will take care of the energy levels and the problems of the team. That will be down a lot to the experienced players.”
- [Match Highlights] Southampton 1-1 Arsenal – All The Goals And Highlights
- [Player Ratings] Southampton 1-1 Arsenal – Giroud Saves Gunners
- [Confirmed Lineups] Southampton v Arsenal – Mertesacker Starts For Gunners
The decision makes sense considering Wenger’s stance in the past. It doesn’t matter who is the club captain, the squad has a myriad of experienced individuals who will fulfil the role on the pitch in his absence.
There are a number of important tasks that must regularly be carried out such as media and match day programme discussions, as well as the dressing room involvement will be vital for a player who clearly has the respect of his team mates.
What are your thoughts Gooners? Is this a wise decision?