Mikel Arteta on reasons behind Arsenal's excellent form
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Mikel Arteta has been the catalyst for change at Arsenal since his appointment in 2019, and it is vital that the club do all they can to ensure he puts pen to paper on a new deal. The Gunners look likely to finish in the Champions League places this season.
The Spaniard inherited a squad littered with ageing stars and deadweight fringe players and has quickly created a team with ambition and quality. Already, the changes that the former Manchester City coaches has made are proving the right ones.
Arteta’s £150million spending spree on players all aged 24 and under is already bearing fruit. The likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Martin Odegaard are all impressing on a week to week basis, with other signings also improving the squad.
But Arteta’s success so far is not all transfer-driven; his desire to give academy products regular opportunities has also proven effective. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have both taken to the Premier League like a duck to water and the manager deserves a lot of praise for that.
But the Gunners could lose their most prized asset if they are not careful. Arteta is out of contract in 2023 and his upwards trajectory in the dugout has captured the attention of Paris Saint-Germain.
Football.London revealed that Arsenal are confident that they can agree on a new deal with Arteta, but Stan Kroenke must prove in the summer that he is willing to give the manager the backing he needs to flourish at the Emirates Stadium. Last summer’s budget won’t be persuasive 12 months down the line.
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Arsenal were keen to sign a striker in the January transfer window but couldn’t find a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – another star who has felt the full force of Arteta’s no-nonsense approach. But the manager won’t be able to go without in the summer.
With Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette out of contract at the end of the season, the Gunners need a no.9 and without one could undo all of their progress to date. They paid the price for putting all of their eggs in one basket with Dusan Vlahovic – who opted to join Juventus from Fiorentina – and they can’t afford to make that mistake again.
If Kroenke goes relatively unbacked in the summer then one would assume that Arteta’s head might be able to be turned. The job as PSG manager is a somewhat thankless task, but it does guarantee financial backing in the transfer market.
Arteta has laid the foundations for success at the Emirates and it would be disappointing if the North London outfit don’t become title contenders in the next few seasons. The manager’s influence on the club cannot be understated and he is the one individual at the club who – at this point in time – is irreplaceable.
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