The Gunners boss has said he will pass the armband around this season, but a former star in north London wants to see a Brazilian defender take it
David Luiz is a “serial winner” and “has got to be captain” at Arsenal, says Paul Merson, with Unai Emery’s plan to pass the armband around causing concern.
The Gunners boss has stated in the past that he wants to work with a leadership group at Emirates Stadium, rather than one set skipper.
A number of those considered to be worthy of taking on captaincy duties have since left north London, with the likes of Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Aaron Ramsey all moved on.
Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil are considered to still be in contention, along with summer signing Luiz.
Merson believes the Brazilian defender, who has previously tasted Premier League and Champions League glory across two spells at Chelsea, should be appointed on a full-time basis.
The former Arsenal midfielder told Sky Sports: “The worrying thing for me is I heard the manager say he’s going to have five captains, which tells me he has no idea what his team is.
“Unai Emery’s been there a year-and-a-half, he’s got to have five captains because he doesn’t have a clue what his best team is. He hasn’t got a clue.
“The good teams are the ones who play virtually the same team every week, but with Arsenal you don’t know who it’ll be from week to week.
“David Luiz has got to be captain, he’s a serial winner. People have a go at him because one week he’ll be a 2/10 and the next a 9/10, but he’s going to play every week.
“I’m not the greatest lover of a forward being the captain, but [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang’s another one. Those front three should pick themselves straight away and you go from there – they’ll play every week, if they’re fit.”
Captain candidate Xhaka has faced criticism at times this season, with the Switzerland international seeing his temperament and consistency called into question once again.
Some supporters even took to ironically cheering when the 26-year-old midfielder was replaced during a 3-2 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.
Merson admits he is not the biggest fan of Xhaka, but feels it is wrong for fans to taunt players on a public stage.
He added: “I had a bit of a go at Xhaka the other week, but I don’t like fans booing their players.
“It’s not right and it’s not Arsenal. You’ve got to have a bit more class than that. He’s never stopped trying and even though I had a go at him, you can’t be booing your own players.”