Mikel Arteta has no plans to change Arsenal’s leadership group for now, but also admits it is important the captains are committed to the club long-term.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has worn the armband for the Gunners since Granit Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy in November following his outburst against supporters during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October.
It leaves the forward, Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil as the remaining players in the original five-man leadership group under Unai Emery, who held a blind ballot amongst his squad to decide the skipper for this season.
Aubameyang has this week been linked with a move to Real Madrid and only has 18 months left on his contract, but new head coach Arteta insisted “I don’t even think about that possibility” before discussing the importance of the armband.
He said: “The more stability we can generate with our captain and the players we have in the squad, I think the more clarity we will have to transmit to the fans what we are trying to do.
“There are many factors, some we cannot control, but at the moment everything is OK and not the time for me to change things in place because I haven’t seen real things to make the decisions.
“I have been at clubs that have four or five captains. It is more a leadership group than captains. At the end it is one guy wearing the armband and after the team picks the leaders.
“The moment they pick the leaders is when someone talks if they listen or they are looking at the roof. That is when you see.”
Arteta also outlined his desire to “avoid” cliques forming in the dressing room, as was reportedly the case under Emery.
“The leadership many times is related to how this team lives together.
“The moment you start to see different groups, they have leaders in this groups, but they are not shared in the best common interests of the group and this is what I wanted to avoid.
“We have some leaders, some are more leaders on the pitch and some more outside the pitch. Some have influence to players that is very necessary. We want to bring all together.”