At 20-years-old, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is apparently pocketing £50,000-a-week, but to tie down the so-called saviour of English football long-term, the club want to offer him a bumper new contract. It is thought any talks will include Wilshere being told he will one day possess the captain's armband. However, over the last decade, since the glory days when Patrick Vieira was skipper, the Arsenal captaincy has turned into a curse, with the players exiting the Emirates for pastures new (without lifting any silverware). talkSPORT studies the case of the cursed Arsenal captaincy....
Name: Patrick Vieira
Captain from: 2002-2005
Left for: Juventus (2005)
Finding a player to fill Patrick Vieira's shoes has been a perennial problem for Arsenal in recent years, so big was the impact the Frenchman had at the club. The midfielder had been an Arsenal player for six years by the time Tony Adams retired in 2002, and then vice captain, he was promoted to skipper after their long-serving defender's retirement. Vieira lifted Arsenal's last trophy to date after scoring the winning penalty in the 2005 FA Cup final shoot-out win, but it was to be his last act for the club, with the Frenchman leaving for Juventus that summer and with his departure he set the tone for the Arsenal armband.
Patrick Vieira's last act as Arsenal captain was also his last as an Arsenal player...
Name: Thierry Henry
Captain from: 2005-2007
Left for: Barcelona (2007)
With Patrick Vieira's departure, the Arsenal captaincy was handed to club icon Thierry Henry, but the Frenchman couldn't deliver a trophy like his predecessor. With Arsenal's failure to lift the Champions League in 2006, rumours began to surface that Henry was heading to Barcelona. Despite this, he stayed with the club for another year, but injuries and poor form meant he only scored 10 league goals, paling in comparison to the 27 he scored the season before. When he did finally move to Barca he was a Champions League winner within two years of joining.
Name: William Gallas
Captain from: 2007-2008
Left for: Tottenham Hotspur (2010)
Gallas had only been an Arsenal player for a year, but was handed the captain's armband ahead of Gunners' favourite Gilberto Silva in 2007. The Frenchman's spell as skipper is best remembered for the controversy he caused rather than for his football. Though Arsene Wenger initially persisted with him, when Gallas publicly criticised his team mates in an interview with the Associated Press in November 2008, his manager stripped him of the captaincy and handed it to Cesc Fabregas. The stopper eventually left for rivals Spurs in 2010.
Name: Cesc Fabregas
Captain from: 2008-2011
Left for: Barcelona (2011)
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas was the natural choice to succeed William Gallas in 2008 and the Catalan certainly had a more calming effect on his team-mates than the French defender. By the time the 2010/11 season came around, the Spaniard was arguably the best player in the Premier League and certainly Arsenal's most consistent, but it was an uncharacteristically lazy pass that allowed his boyhood club Barcelona to toss Arsenal out of the Champions League last 16 in 2011. As if by destiny, Fabregas rejoined Barcelona at the end of that summer, continuing the growing list of captains leaving the Gunners.
Cesc Fabregas gave everything for Arsenal and was a passionate captain, but he was soon to become yet another name on the cursed list
Name: Robin Van Persie
Captain from: 2011 – 2012
Left for: Man United (2012)
The decision to make Robin van Persie captain after Fabregas left the Emirates wasn't necessarily a straightforward one, with the Dutchman missing large chunks of previous seasons through injury. It proved to be inspired, however, as RVP excelled in his new role, frequently dragging his team through difficult games by the scruff of their necks as all good captains should. Van Persie's goals played a vital part in landing Arsenal a third place finish in last season's Premier League, yet the Dutchman still announced he would not renew his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the current 2012/13 campaign after becoming frustrated with what he described as a lack of ambition at Arsenal. Rather than lose him for nothing in 2013, the Gunners offloaded him for £24m to Man United and Wenger was once again looking for someone else to lead his side. Step forward Thomas Vermaelen...
Why have Arsenal struggled to keep hold of their captains, and was Patrick Vieira the last worthy holder of the armband? Do you think Jack Wilshere will be at the club for life?