By Alex Taylor
Per Mertesacker has been appointed the new Arsenal skipper – and there has been a mixed response from fans on Twitter.
The Gunners unveiled the Germany World Cup winner, 31, as the new club captain on their official Twitter account on Saturday morning.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 13, 2016
The towering central-defender has long been earmarked to replace Arteta but will sit out the first five months of the season after suffering a knee injury during pre-season.
It was said veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech was in with a fighting chance of getting the captaincy, but Wenger prefers his skipper to be an outfield player, while Santi Carzola was also linked to the position.
Here are a selection of the Tweets:
Per Mertesacker as captain, and here I thought Big Bang Theory is the funniest comedy on earth
— Diamante (@KAANAtion) August 13, 2016
— Mrs Giroud (@TaZRahman7) August 13, 2016
— SaM (@MesutIsMagic) August 13, 2016
— Mike Iozzia (@MikeIozzia) August 13, 2016
— Hassan (@ClassofBergkamp) August 13, 2016
— Swarit Sohaard (@SSohaard) August 13, 2016
As much as I love Per, I would've picked a captain who is guaranteed to be in the starting XI in the coming seasons… He's not. #Arsenal
— Joe Nelson (@Joe_Nelson1994) August 13, 2016
Mertesacker has regularly worn the armband in recent seasons due to Arteta’s absences through injury.
The role became available after Arteta called time on his playing career to join Manchester City’s coaching staff under Pep Guardiola earlier this month.
Mertesacker joined Arsenal in 2011 and has featured 207 times for the Gunners, competing in over 18,000 minutes of football.
He has been a mainstay of the team since his arrival from Werder Bremen and is a popular figure among supporters and team-mates.
The Gunners will have various senior men missing for their opening Premier League fixture, with Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, and Gabriel all either injured or unfit.
In other Arsenal team news, the club have opened talks to sign this Barcelona defender.