Alexandre Lacazette has been appointed as Arsenal’s new club captain for the rest of the season, manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed.
The Gunners have been without a permanent skipper since Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang was stripped of the honour after a third disciplinary breach – and the Gabon striker has since joined Barcelona on a free transfer.
Lacazette has been handed the armband on a number of occasions since and has now been handed the role permanently for the remainder of the campaign, as confirmed by Arteta in his press conference ahead of their trip to Wolves.
The Frenchman himself looks likely to leave the Emirates at the end of the season, but is one of the club’s more experienced players aged 30, having made nearly 200 appearances for the team.
He is one of the most influential names in the dressing room – but has not been able to have the same impact on the pitch this season. He has scored just three league goals – five in all competitions – and there will be even more pressure on him to produce with Aubameyang gone.
Lacazette and Aubameyang were close friends at Arsenal, and the former Lyon man penned an emotional tribute to him after his exit.
‘My bro!!’ Lacazette wrote. ‘Thanks for the last four years. My experience [at] Arsenal would have been different without you. Wish you good luck in your next chapter! See you soon.’
Aubameyang’s situation had caused tension within the club after Arteta made the decision to remove him from captain duties after arriving back late from trip to France to visit his mother.
It was the third time he had been disciplined by the club since his arrival in 2018 – and the player admitted he had a ‘problem’ with his Spanish boss after sealing his move to the Nou Camp.
‘I think it was a problem just with him [Arteta],’ he said. ‘He made the decision. I can’t say much more. He wasn’t happy, I stayed very calm and that’s it.’
Speaking for the first time about the striker’s departure, Arteta said: ‘I’m extremely grateful for what Auba has done at the club for his contribution since I have been here and the way I see myself in that relationship is the solution not the problem.
‘I have been the solution. One hundred per cent. I can look in the eye of anybody. I do a lot of things wrong for sure but the intention all the time is the best and not for me, it’s for the club and for the team.’