Laurent Koscielny is set to be named as Arsenal captain, according to reports.
According to The Metro, Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is set to be named as new club captain.
The position is currently vacant after midfielder Mikel Arteta was released, but does this spell the end of Per Mertesacker's time in North London?
With Arteta starting two games in all competitions this past season, the German was given the armband in the vast majority of the Gunners' outings.
It seems natural, then, that the World Cup-winning centre-back woud be manager Arsene Wenger's first choice with regards to the captaincy.
But given that he is set to be overlooked, it may suggest that Wenger does not plan on keeping the big German around much longer, having signed him from Werder Bremen in 2011.
Gunners fans are crying out for a new centre-back following a season in which they finished second in the Premier League, but 10 points behind champions Leicester City.
But it has been Gabriel, far more than Mertesacker, who has looked the biggest liability in Arsenal's defence and some supporters may want to see the German kept on - at least in the squad, if not as captain in the first team.
With the armband, he was a far cry from great Arsenal captains like Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira, but he was better suited to the job than Koscielny would be.
Does the Frenchman have the personality needed to be a captain? He does not marshall his defenders. He is not vocal, seldom giving his team-mates the rollocking they often deserve. He isn't the type you'd readily follow into a war. An excellent centre-back, sure, but the responsibility of captaincy would hinder him.
Mertesacker isn't the greatest defender any longer, but he is far and away the most authoritative figure that Arsenal have in their squad. Selling him, and giving Koscielny the armband, would be two mistakes already by Wenger.
The French manager is hardly spoiled for choice regarding the captaincy, yet isn't that all the more reason to recruit players with certain leadership qualities this summer? They've gotten off to a good start, signing Granit Xhaka - captain at his last club, Borussia Monchengladbach - but more big characters are needed.