With club captain Martin Odegaard out for what seems to be a few weeks, there have been many different captains since his absence, but who should be the captain in the meantime? Here are my top three picks for the armband in his absence:
The star boy has already taken the armband twice this season against Chelsea and Sheffield United. Saka is an exemplary player who resembles what it takes to be an Arsenal player. He has spent his whole career within the Gunners’ setup from youth teams to making his debut against Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on the 29th of November 2018.
Once given his opportunity to feature regularly, he took his chance and has become loved by every Arsenal fan. Recently, Saka endured 87 consecutive Premier League games showing that no matter what he has given his all for the club and fans.
He has scored some crucial goals in his career so far such as his goals against Manchester United and Liverpool as well as scoring for England against Senegal in the round of 16 of the World Cup.
Arsenal through and through, scoring goals and getting assists, what more could you ask from a potential captain?
A vastly experienced player who has accomplished much so far in his 13-year career. Having impressed at Hellas Verona and making 89 appearances for the Italian outfit, he joined Napoli and was an integral part of their squad as they finished second in the 2017/18 season. He made 133 appearances for the Italian giants before moving to Chelsea.
In West London he made 143 appearances for them, taking the captain’s armband many times. He achieved a lot during his spell winning a Europa League, a Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup, and a FIFA Club World Cup, coming third in the 2021/22 Ballon d’Or rankings and winning the 2020 Euros with Italy.
He has also captained Italy many times, and most recently has had the armband for the Gunners against West Ham, Newcastle, and Sevilla. With his overall playing style of dictating the pace of the game and his passing ability on show against Sevilla, he can lead the play as well as take control of the game.
With such experience of winning big games, he can be valuable in leading Arsenal’s younger squad through how to deal with the pressure that comes with big games. With his penalty record and success in the finals of big competitions, he can bring much-needed composure when the pressure is on.
Despite only joining Mikel Arteta’s side in the summer, his impact on and off the field is already clear to see. Arguably, he is one of the only players this season to put 110% effort into every game from minute one through to the end.
He is a role model for what a professional footballer needs to do and conduct themselves. Through watching the games, it is clear he is quick to defend his teammates in small scuffles and to the referee.
Rice has quickly become a fan favorite at Arsenal, scoring an important last-minute goal against Man United. Even in the games when the Gunners’ have failed to be on top form, he seems to be the standout when the times are tough.
He was the captain of West Ham for the better part of two seasons leading them to a Europa League semi-final and winning the UEFA Conference League last season. Rice has also played in the 2020 Euros final and the 2022 World Cup semi-final giving him such vital experience in some of the biggest fixtures.
He plays with his heart on his sleeve, gives his all and rarely puts a foot wrong week in, and week out. Another great candidate for the armband in Odegaard’s absence.
Three great candidates, all for different reasons. It is interesting to see who will take the armband going forward as many players at various points have worn the armband since Odegaard’s unfortunate injury.