Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may leave Arsenal this summer and Hector Bellerin has made it clear he is willing to become the Gunners’ new captain.
Current skipper Aubameyang has been one of the Premier League’s best players this season, and his fine form has, naturally, garnered many admirers.
Barcelona have been keen on the Gabon international for a long time, while Manchester United are also showing interest in him now, The Sun report.
Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea are also said to be keen on Aubameyang, knowing there is a good chance he will be available for transfer this summer.
Aubameyang has entered the final 18 months of his contract at the Emirates, and Arsenal chiefs are resigned to the fact he is unlikely to sign a new deal given Champions League qualification appears out of the question.
This means the north Londoners have to cash in on the forward this summer, or they risk losing him for free 12 months later when his contract expires.
A £50million transfer has been mooted, and it would come as no surprise to see Aubameyang depart the Emirates before the start of next season.
This would be a huge blow to the Gunners, as not only would they lose perhaps the best goalscorer in the Premier league – they would also lose their captain.
Someone else would have to take the armband were Aubameyang to depart – but who is ready for that responsibility?
Well, it appears Hector Bellerin is ready – or, at least, he thinks he is ready.
“People may not see me as this massive guy who shouts on the pitch all the time or what people may have as a captain in their heads,” said the full-back. “But there are so many different ways of leading a team.
“Since I was young at Barcelona, I would always be one of the three captains in the team. For me, it was a role I’m used to.
“Obviously it’s not the same when you’re 14 or 15 as it is now because the responsibility and what you represent is completely different, but it’s always been something that I’ve enjoyed.
“I enjoy positions of responsibility and I enjoy being the first one on that wall.
Getty Images – Getty
Does Bellerin have what it takes to be Arsenal captain?
“For me, I have been speaking to the coach for a few months and he was telling me that I could be one of the people that could represent the team.
“I was really happy with it because I’m someone who’s been here for a long time and I know how the club runs.”
Bellerin has deputised as captain on occasion this season, wearing the armband multiple times when Aubameyang has not been on the pitch.
Is he the man to succeed Aubameyang as skipper on a permanent basis? Well, it’s up to Mikel Arteta to make that decision when he finally has to…
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