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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Chris Doyle

Mikel Arteta all but confirms Arsenal's next captain after West Ham demand met

Mikel Arteta has given the clearest indication yet that Alexandre Lacazette will take the Arsenal captaincy.

The Frenchman has worn the armband on a temporary basis in wins over Southampton and West Ham after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's latest disciplinary breach.

The striker returned back late from a trip abroad last week as Arteta stripped him of the captaincy.

It remains to be seen who will be named the next skipper but Lacazette is at the front of the queue as he led the Gunners out in his teammates' absence.

And Arteta hints he could take it on a permanent basis as he's the "next in line" praising the forward for how he's stepped up to the plate.

Mikel Arteta has all but confirmed his next Arsenal captain (BT Sport)

Asked if the armband is his for the foreseeable future, the Spaniard said: "Well, he’s the next in line and he’s taken it the way everybody saw today with such pride and commitment. I’m really happy again with the way he played."

Asked if he is embracing the role, he added: "Absolutely. But Laca has always been like that in the dressing room. You see how he is with the other players how willing he is to help. It’s in his nature.

"He’s not a selfish player. He’s a player that’s happy when he makes the rest better. He’s like this in the dressing room as well."

Gabriel Martinelli arguably put in his best performance in an Arsenal shirt and he formed an effective partnership with Lacazette as they pressed and hurried West Ham's defenders all night long.

The pair each recorded the most amount of tackles and Arteta insists that work rate is something he demands from both of them.

He said: That’s what I demand them to do. If we want to play the way that I want those players have to do that consistently in every action. That’s why it facilitates everything that happens in behind because that process is done at the right moment with the right rhythm and intensity. I’m really pleased with that."

Alexandre Lacazette has worn the skipper's armband against Southampton and West Ham (Getty)

The Brazilian scored the opener against the Hammers as the Gunners would go on to secure a 2-0 win to enter the top four.

Asked if it was Martinelli's best ever game, Arteta replied: "Certainly, it was one of the best in every aspect of the game. Physically he’s growing, today he was cramping again, and he needs to mature on that side of the game.

"But his overall understanding of the game is much better. He’s able to put some gears into his play sometimes instead of doing everything 100 miles per hour. But the energy and the quality he shows up front is top."

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