Lanky German replaces regular skippers Vermaelen and Arteta, who are both crocked.
Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger has revealed that experienced defender Per Mertesacker will captain the club in their Premier League opener against Aston Villa at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The north London club are currently in the middle of a worrying injury crisis just as the new top-flight campaign gets under way this weekend, with the Gunners set to be without the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta and Nacho Monreal all through injury.
Belgium international centre-back Vermaelen has been ruled out with a long-term back injury, Spanish playmaker Arteta tore a thigh muscle in training on Thursday and will now be out of action for up to six week, and left-back Monreal will also be absent for the visit of Paul Lambert’s men on Saturday.
And there are now concerns that right-back Bacary Sagna could also be missing against Villa after the France international limped out of his country’s friendly draw in Belgium on Wednesday night after suffering a knock to his ankle.
All of which means that according to some reports, the Frenchman may now only have 11 fit first-team players available for selection against Villa, which is why he has been forced to hand the captain’s armband to German central defender Mertesacker.