Arsene Wenger has developed a penchant for sussing out some of the best playmakers of the game, and help reinvigorate them to their best ability along the way. One such case has been evident in club captain Mikel Arteta writes A. Danial.
Arteta’s transition into a holding role for the 12/13 season has allowed Arsene to tinker his midfield options, paving the way for more technically gifted players to take on the team’s mantle of primary creator over the years. Although Santi Cazorla has since looked to pick up the pieces where he has left off, Arteta should still feature imperatively in Arsene’s game plan for the coming season. The arrival of Premier League veteran Petr Cech has stated the club’s intentions and provided the boss a solid base to build on. If Arsenal are to mount a credible title challenge then retaining Mikel Arteta has definitely supported that.
Francis Coquelin’s rise to prominence at the turn of the year has provided much needed bite and aggression to the team. But the risk of him burning out is indeed a cause for concern. Having missed out Morgan Schneiderlin and Arturo Vidal, with the signing William Carvalho looking increasingly unlikely, Arsenal need look no further than Arteta to do the job. When fit, he has put in a good shift as a deep lying playmaker where his ability to dictate the pace of the game has kept things tidy for Arsenal in the middle of the park. The season of which he assumed the role, Arteta was the most in-form holding midfielder in the league; leading his fellow compatriots in tackles, interceptions, and pass completion rates. The list pitted him against established names like United’s Michael Carrick and Newcastle’s Cheik Tiote, who were far better acquainted with the position.
Let’s look past the argument that we’re limiting him to being a bit part player in this context. Keeping a player of Arteta’s stature would set the right tone for the younger players at the club. Tying down this deal extension is a timely coup for Arsenal. Arteta’s influence and vast experience could translate into tricky away games and the run in. Considering his age and injury woes it is in fact a considerable option for both parties to contend with.