In First Season, Mikel Arteta May Have Already Justified His Hiring

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When Arsenal opted to appoint Mikel Arteta as their next manager following the sacking of Unai Emery back in December, there were one or two raised eyebrows from Gunners fans. 

Although Arteta had worked under arguably the best coach in world football, Pep Guardiola, for the past three years, he had no previous head coaching experience.

Arteta is fondly remembered by Arsenal fans for his spell in North London between 2011 and 2016. The Spaniard gave his all for the club every time he appeared on the pitch. He enjoyed success with the Gunners, winning the FA Cup in 2014 and 2015. When he took over the reins at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal were in midtable and a long way from where they should be. 

After victories over Premier League champions Liverpool in league play and Manchester City in the semi-final of the FA Cup, Arsenal have proved they are capable of having success against the biggest teams in England. 

It is next season where Arteta will be judged on how well his team does. He will have a full pre-season to work with his players and should be given at least some funding in the transfer window. His side are 66/1 in the Premier League betting for the title in the 2020/21 campaign. Although this may be a step or two too far, a place in the top four is likely to be the realistic goal.

 

Securing Aubameyang Likely to Be A Priority for Arteta 

As he showed in that FA Cup semi-final success at Wembley, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains a crucial player for Arsenal. Arteta’s skipper has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season, which is an impressive return for a side that has not been firing on all cylinders. 

Aubameyang’s contract with Arsenal is set to expire in the summer of 2021. Unless a new deal is reached before then, he will be free to leave the Gunners in 11 months’ time. 

The 31-year-old has been Arsenal’s best player for the past three years. Without his goals, they would be in a far worse position than they are now. If the Gabon international did sign a new deal before this summer, it would help Arteta when it comes to recruiting in the upcoming transfer window. 

Arteta Has Not Allowed Certain Members of His Squad To Disrupt 

Although the majority of his squad appears to be enjoying playing for the Arsenal boss, the Spaniard has also showed a ruthless side. Mesut Ozil, who has been phased out by previous managers, has continued to be omitted from the matchday squad. 

Ozil now looks certain to leave Arsenal in the summer, bringing an end to his seven-year stint in North London as there does not look to be a future for him at the club under Arteta. 

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