Five reasons why Hector Bellerin should have been Arsenal's new captain

Arsenal FC v Nottingham Forrest  - Carabao Cup Third Round

Unai Emery announced Granit Xhaka as Arsenal's new captain for the rest of the season last week, much to the dismay of the club's fans.

In a team vote that required Arsenal's players to consider a list of values given to them by Emery, the Swiss midfielder came out on top to replace Laurent Koscielny.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang received the second most votes, followed by Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil to make up Arsenal's five-strong leadership group.

"[Xhaka] is mature and he has experience, and we are living all the time under pressure, under criticism as coaches, as players, as a club," said Emery.

"The most important thing is to stand up in each moment, go ahead and show his quality with his behaviour, with his commitment. In the dressing room the players voted for him as the first."

So, was Xhaka the right choice for Arsenal? Arguably not.

While a passionate player and a natural leader, the 27-year-old has come under heavy fire this season for inconsistent performances and making too many mistakes.

Xhaka's recklessness has cost Arsenal on a number of occasions - he gave away a stupid penalty against Tottenham - and as a result, fans have been calling for him to be dropped.

Arsenal FC v Aston Villa - Premier League

A captain needs to be able to inspire his teammates through his performances and there are doubts whether Xhaka does that.

Aubameyang may have been a wiser option, while there's a strong argument to be made for the returning Bellerin.

Here's five reasons why the Spaniard should have been named Arsenal's new captain instead of Xhaka.

TRUE ARSENAL FAN

I don't hate Tottenham because they told me to hate them. I hate them because I love Arsenal.

Bellerin is a rare example of a player who plays for the club he actually supports, and because of that, he hates Spurs and knows exactly what it means to wear the red and white shirt.

Arsenal FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

REJECTED SEVERAL MOVES AWAY

Manchester City, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have all expressed interest in Bellerin down the years and he's been advised to consider leaving Arsenal.

But he hasn't. So strong is Bellerin's bond with the Gunners that every time a lucrative offer has come in, the 24-year-old has said no.

Xhaka, meanwhile, said in the summer: "I want to take the next step. Arsenal does not have to be the last stop."

PRESENCE IN THE DRESSING ROOM

Bellerin has never been afraid to express his opinion and apparently it's even been noticed in the dressing room.

According to Football.London, the Spaniard has previously questioned the commitment of players he thinks are at Arsenal for the money.

Did someone say Mesut Ozil?

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CONSISTENT PERFORMER

Unlike Xhaka, Bellerin seldom puts in a bad performance for Arsenal and he's widely regarded as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League.

As mentioned earlier, captains should inspire their teammates on the football pitch and Bellerin does that by always driving Arsenal forward.

PERFECT TEAMMATE

Growing up in both Spain and England as a teenager has benefited Bellerin greatly in terms of learning different cultures and connecting with his teammates.

He's particularly friendly with Arsenal's young English players, such as Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who he consoled on the pitch after the Europa League final defeat to Chelsea last season.

Furthermore, the right-back has helped summer signings Kieran Tierney (Scottish) and Dani Ceballos (Spanish) settle in since their moves from Celtic and Real Madrid respectively.

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