Unai Emery has refused to be drawn on whether Granit Xhaka will keep the Arsenal captaincy.
The midfielder caused controversy on Sunday as the Gunners stumbled to a 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace. Xhaka was booed off the field and unsurprisingly didn't take it well, promptly telling supporters to ‘f*** off’ before removing his shirt.
That display of petulance has thrown the issue of Arsenal’s on-field leadership into question once more.
Matteo Guendouzi has been tipped as one name who could take the skipper's armband, with one backer in the unlikely shape of former Tottenham striker Darren Bent.
“He gives absolutely everything every time he plays,” he told talkSPORT. “Is that too much pressure to heap on a kid who is only 20? Probably a little bit, but at the same time, who else can you pick?
“Xhaka needs to look at Guendouzi, who is doing everything he should be doing and is only 20. He never throws the towel in.”
So, what should happen next and who are the other names Emery could possibly consider? Here, we take a look at the options for Arsenal captaincy…
Granit Xhaka - The Incumbent
Is there a case for the Swiss star to keep the armband? Is there any way back?
Emery has urged Xhaka to apologise for his behaviour, though that hasn’t been forthcoming.
It may not be linked, but he won’t be making the trip to Liverpool for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Anfield.
He has shown he’s vocal and isn’t afraid to say what he thinks but this is a bridge which has perhaps been burned beyond repair.
Matteo Guendouzi - The Maverick
The French youngster has impressed with his commanding displays and never-say-die attitude.
Full of boundless energy, he has dragged the Arsenal midfield at times this season and can certainly help the team improve performances.
We agree with Bent that he should probably be given the nod. He is full of personality on the pitch and that character is what the Gunners require.
He may be young but he’s fierce and forthright. Arsenal legend Tony Adams was 22 when he took on the role. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
Hector Bellerin - The Servant
There was a time, not so long ago, that Bellerin bore similar criticism to that which Xhaka is experiencing right now.
Perceived to be putting in below-par performances, he suffered the ire of the Emirates faithful but he has worked hard to turn things around.
Born in Barcelona but an adopted Cockney having joined Arsenal in 2011 as a teen, Bellerin is one of the club’s longest-serving players.
With a unique fashion sense, he’s not scared to stand out from the crowd and be his own man.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - The Leader
At the start of the season, Arsenal’s smartest shooter and top goal-getter was named in a five-man leadership team. Rather bizarre if you ask us.
Anyway, Xhaka got the main gig but Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Bellerin made up the list along with Mesut Ozil, who has made just two appearances so far this season.
If Emery wanted his captain to lead by example rather than bawl and shout, ‘Auba’ is the man.
Pure quality in front of goal and a work-rate to match, he could be a sensible option who the supporters could certainly get behind.