Arteta’s three options for Arsenal captaincy after Aubameyang axed

Mikel Arteta has three options he can turn to after stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captain's armband at Arsenal.

The Gabon international was dropped ahead of the 3-0 win over Southampton after the Gunners boss cited a "disciplinary breach".

And he has gone one step further this week by ruling him out of contention against West Ham and removing his captaincy.

It plunges the striker's future into doubt but Arteta is prepared to lay down the law on the former Borussia Dortmund star, while there are not many options to take on the armband in his absence.

It speaks volumes that Aubameyang was the player's choice at the time of another upheaval when Granit Xhaka was similarly disgraced.

For many years now there has been a lack of leadership on the pitch that has ultimately hurt the club.

While the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have all benefitted from a strong captain, Arsenal have faltered.

Arteta now has a problem on his hands as he needs to assign the armband to someone who can truly encapsulate the meaning to play for the club.

While it can be argued that the armband has lost its importance over the past decade, it genuinely means something to have a proper captain lead the club out.

There is an argument to make Gabriel the skipper, a proper defender who does not mind getting stuck in but also has the passion that makes him a fan favourite.

His goal against Southampton perfectly summed him up – the Brazilian wanted it more than anyone else in the penalty box, swanning in before nodding past Willy Caballero.

The 23-year-old was one of the first signings Arteta has made at the Emirates and can help ease in the new group of players who arrived in the summer while he is also young enough to occupy the role for a number of years.

Another option the Gunners coach might consider is Aaron Ramsdale, who has the level of eccentricity that some Arsenal fans might see a shred of Jens Lehmann in the young Englishman.

Despite eyebrows being raised over his £30m transfer fee, the former Sheffield United star has already proved his doubters wrong and made himself one of the first names on the teamsheet with nine clean sheets in 16 matches.

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Are Arsenal right to sack Aubameyang as captain? Let us know in the comments section.

One of the loudest players on the pitch, Ramsdale's status in the dressing room has already risen while as one of the newest imports he is best placed to lead Arsenal into their new era.

Perhaps a more left-field choice to replace Aubameyang could be Emile Smith Rowe – a player that has grown to become a star man under Arteta and one of the club's best talents.

At 21, it would be a surprise but Cesc Fabregas was made captain at 18 by Arsene Wenger after a similar situation emerged with William Gallas being stripped of the armband.

Smith Rowe oozes class on and off the pitch and would be a fine ambassador for the Gunners while his stock is untouchable with the Arsenal fans after signing a new contract and landing the No. 10 shirt.

Whatever decision is made, Arteta still has to deal with Aubameyang while it could simply be the case that the 32-year-old has played his last game for the club.

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