Unai Emery has said he’d like a young English player to be one of his five captains next season but, unlike some are suggesting, what he said probably rules out Rob Holding.
“I want one English player in these five captains,” told Football.London.
“Last year [Granit] Xhaka, Mesut [Ozil] and Nacho [Monreal] were working as captains. But after Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech left – and possibly Laurent Koscielny – I will want more.
“An English player who grew up in our academy can understand the English spirit and Arsenal values. These are the qualities and more [we want].”
Football.London have surmised that this means Rob Holding could get the nod because it’s unlikely to be Calum Chambers or Carl Jenkinson, but he only signed for Arsenal in 2016 after coming through Bolton’s academy. The author also forgot about Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
That’s not to say Holding wouldn’t be a decent call, it’s just that he doesn’t fit with what Emery said he wanted – a player who grew up in OUR academy. Ainsley Maitland-Niles does. He has been at the club for 16 years, is young, and English.
I thought Emery might give up on this five captains lark seeing as two have already left (Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey), a third is at the door (Laurent Koscielny) and a fourth (Mesut Ozil) had one of his worst seasons as a professional footballer.
Not so, it seems.
He added he wanted players with “experience of leadership, being an example on and off the pitch, character and communication with the coach and other players, capacity to speak and to be there for supporters, a good connection and communication with the club.”
If one of them isn’t Hector Bellerin, I might have to riot.