Mikel Arteta intends to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal captain despite the striker being linked with a move away from the club.
Aubameyang was handed the armband when Granit Xhaka was stripped of the role by Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery.
However, with Aubameyang’s contract set to expire in 2021 and talks with the club over an extension said to have broken down, the Gabon international is reportedly a target for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter.
Aubameyang has told RMC he is “100 per cent” at Arsenal despite the speculation, while Arteta has consistently said he expects to keep hold of the 30-year-old.
“At the moment, I think everything is okay,” Arteta told reporters of Arsenal’s captaincy situation ahead of Monday’s FA Cup tie at home to Leeds United.
“It’s not the time for me to change things in place now because I haven’t seen the real things to make those decisions.
“But the more stability we generate with our captain – and players in the squad – the more clarity we’re going to have to transmit to the fans what we’re trying to do.”
A weekend without a game
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 4, 2020
Xhaka led a captaincy group also featuring Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil, with Arteta offering insight on what he expects from the club’s leaders.
“I’ve been in clubs where we had four or five captains. It’s more a leadership group than captains,” added the ex-Gunners skipper.
“In the end, one guy wears the armband. After that, the team picks the leaders. When someone talks, they listen – or they’re looking at the roof. That’s when you see.
“Leadership is related to how a team lives together. Different groups – with different leaders that are not in the best, common interest of the group – is what I want to avoid.
“We have some who are more leaders on the pitch, some more outside the pitch. We want to bring them all together.
“The staff are very important as well. Players don’t live alone in the training ground. They’re constantly interacting with a lot of the staff. The leadership has to come from a lot of people in the building.”
Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 at home in their last game to earn Arteta’s first win.
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