Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that midfield favourite Jack Wilshere could take over as the club's new captain if he signs a new contract.
Wilshere's current deal at Arsenal is set to expire at the end of the season - he's one of three first team stars in the same situation, alongside Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez - but is likely to pen an extension to keep himself at his boyhood club. The new contract is likely to be on reduced terms because of Wilshere's injury history, but an agreement is in the offing.
Per Mertesacker is currently Arsenal's skipper but is a rare starter in the first team, while another potential candidate in Santi Cazorla has been absent from first team matters for months because of career-threatening injury problems.
Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny are other potential options, but as reported by the Mail, Wenger believes that Wilshere is one of the right men to take Arsenal forward into the future with the armband.
He said: "I see him here because he is an Arsenal man. He was here at the age of 10 and I believe as well he's not only been here for a long time but he has some leadership qualities. He has a football brain. He is completely focused on Arsenal.
"The fact that he has been away and come back...he realises as well that life here is not so bad maybe! That is important. He can be one of the leaders in the future.
"Who would question his love and commitment for the club? Nobody. We have to find an agreement that makes him happy."
Wilshere has struggled with injuries for most of his career and was sent out to Bournemouth on loan last season in order to build up his fitness, though he's now back in the Arsenal first team and recently captained the Gunners from the start of a game for the first time. Wilshere even kept the armband as a souvenir.
Wenger continued, speaking on his injury history: "He is much more patient and mature. Before, his desire to play was the only thing that mattered.
"Today he can analyse better: is he fit or not? He has a lot of prevention work to do and he does that religiously now. Before he was a bit more, 'My body can take that', like we all are when we are 20 years old."