Granit Xhaka and Jamie Redknapp have backed Martin Odegaard to become Arsenal’s next captain.
Alexandre Lacazette replaced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as skipper on a temporary basis after the 32-year-old striker was stripped of the captaincy and eventually shipped off to Barcelona in January.
Odegaard, who wears the armband for Norway, shouldered the leadership role for the first time in the Gunners‘ clash with Southampton last month.
The midfielder has since been handed the captain’s armband in the outings against Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham.
Mikel Arteta has hinted that the Norwegian could be his next captain after labelling Odegaard a ‘good option‘.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to the Saints, the Gunners boss said: “Time will tell. The most important thing is the respect and admiration from his teammates. He represents everything we want in this club. He is a good option.”
“Speaking on Sky Sports after the north London side’s 2-1 win over West Ham, Redknapp backed Odegaard as the solution to Arsenal’s skipper problem. The former Liverpool midfielder said:”Xhaka was captain for a while, didn’t really work, [then] Aubameyang, then they give it to Lacazette.
“But giving it to Odegaard, it feels right for me,” Redknapp added.
“He may not be the most vocal but when you watch him play, he organises people, he plays the right pass. He’s a lovely player to watch.”
“You can see from Mikel Arteta’s point of view, he’s almost his manager on the pitch. It might be one where, he’s there for the future, he’s a fantastic player, good type of guy as well – it’s a masterstroke from Arteta.”
“Xhaka has also thrown his hat in the ring amid Arteta’s search for a new captain. Speaking on Danish television station TV2, the midfielder said:”He is the future of this club.
He’s already captain when Alexandre Lacazette does not play.
“He can be very proud of himself. You can see how far he has come in his head, mentally. He is very young, only 23, but in how he behaves and is on the field, he looks like he’s 30. It looks like he has already played 500 or 600 games. He can definitely become Arsenal captain. He has the DNA in him. He works as hard every day as if he were in a fight. He does a lot of extra work. He is humble. Everyone in the dressing room listens to him. Why not?'”.