Jack Wilshere has made the not very surprising statement that he wants to be the permanent Arsenal captain in the future, even holding it very briefly months ago.
The Evening Standard reported him as saying: "Last season as well I got the armband for 20 minutes or so [against West Ham in January] which was a nice feeling. I want to do that [be a leader] for this club."
But is Wilshere guaranteed such a chance? His rise through the Arsenal youth system and passionate personality makes him an ideal choice as captain, but here are three of his teammates who it could be argued are ahead of him in the queue, should Thomas Vermaelen lose the captaincy or be sold.
Spanish midfielder Arteta is already the club's vice-captain and has been taking on the role with Vermaelen benched in recent weeks. Arteta possesses the experience which Wilshere lacks and is less hot-headed than the Englisman. At present he is a preferred starter by Arsene Wenger to Wilshere and would be a safe pair of hands to take over the captaincy.
Need we explain why Mertesacker would be the perfect captain? The German is a natural leader who commands respect and stifles the opposition. The 29-year-old possesses Tony Adams like qualities on the field and has emerged as the most important member of the Gunners defence, and is a perfect professional off the pitch.
While Wilshere is struggling for form at present, one man who is not is his teammate Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman is helping keep Wilshere out of the team, and is emerging as a more polished talent. He has already captained his national side and would have no problem at all taking on the Arsenal armband.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald