The 31-year-old Gilberto, said to be at odds with Wenger over selection, might have been expected to bristle at the manager's decision to hand 22-year-old Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski the captain's armband.
But Wenger said: "It's not about how many years you are at the club. Gilberto was the real leader on the pitch, the younger players look up to him. It's not a problem. He's still a key person for me."