Arteta Signs a New Deal, but was it Deserved?
It’s one of those Fridays you look forward to because tomorrow is Saturday and of course, the Premier League returns to our screens. Last weekend saw a host of lower division in the spotlight for their efforts against the big guns in the country but they’d get their chance to battle again in the 5th round of the FA Cup.
The January transfer window is coming to a close and many Arsenal fans can be satisfied with the club’s dealings in the period. Francis Coquelin’s return to the first team setup was timed to perfection and since then, he has gone a long way to staking a permanent claim for that jersey. Sometimes bad things happen to some people so that good things can happen to others. Like the classic case of Mikel Arteta.
Since his arrival in 2011, the lego-haired Spaniard has been an integral player to the club and following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen, he was appointed club-captain by Arsene Wenger. Funnily enough, even while the Verm was still with the club, Arteta probably wore the arm band more than him. The midfielder signed a four year deal with the club and he was going to be a free agent this summer if the club didn’t hand him a new contract. Speculation rose about the player’s future but he remained as calm as ever, doing his thing while waiting for things to unfold.
Arteta’s agent, Inaki Ibanez, has told footmercato.net that his client will still be at the Emirates Stadium next season.
“Mikel is no longer free next June, because he now has an extra year on his contract
Arteta is a player Wenger has trusts and he’s always on the first team sheet whenever he’s fit. But the issue is – Arteta is hardly fit nowadays. One minute you see him dictating tempo with his calm influence and spraying those accurate passes with consummate ease, next minute you see his number on the dashboard as he starts limping towards the touchline for another midfielder to take his place. The latest info in the Arteta fitness saga was that a ‘bony
Tottenham spur’ was found in his ankle so he needed surgery to remove it which would sideline him to April at best.
His fitness issues are certainly not Diaby-esque but it’s really unfortunate to see that constant injuries continue to rob Arteta off his services to his club. Arsene Wenger stated that Daiby’s fitness would determine if he’d a new contract but with Arteta facing some fitness issues of his own and reaching his twilight years, was his contract extension deserved? I’d say yes! Arteta is Wenger’s general on the pitch and his influence can never be matched. Many players that joined the club have confessed to how he helped them settle in but his biggest show of influence in my opinion, was seeing him order Per Mertesacker to go back and defend when the German wanted to race forward to attack a set piece when the Gunners were leading 1-0.
I’m happy he’s gonna stay around for a little longer, even if I can’t say if he’d continue go get a consistent amount of game time with Coquelin’s emergence and the side talk of Morgan Schneiderlein coming in the sideline. However, you can’t trade experience for anything.
Just take a look at Tomas Rosicky.