While Arsenal's recent Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Liverpool sent portions of the fan base into meltdown, the hierarchy at the Emirates Stadium continue to keep faith in their young manager. In fact, the north London giants have reportedly made a decision regarding the tactician's future and it's great news for those who are fans of the Spaniard.
According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League giants are keen to offer Arteta a new contract, with the former midfielder nearing the final 12 months of his current deal. Not everyone will welcome this idea as the club are in the midst of a heated top-four battle, with many calling for the board to wait until the outcome of this season emerges, but the higher-ups see things different.
The team finished eighth in the first two seasons under Mikel and could realistically miss out on European football once again this term. However, the club chiefs have been wowed by the Spaniard, with the focus on young and exciting players – namely Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, and Martinelli – being welcomed.
Additionally, the board has been impressed with his off-field leadership, ranging from the critical role he played in convincing the squad to take pay cuts at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to the manner in which he defended the club's honor in the face of criticism over the North London Derby postponement.
The manager's current deal ends in 2023, meaning he will enter the final year this summer, which the north London giants wish to avoid. Another point of worry is the managerial situation at Man City. Pep Guardiola is also under contract at the Etihad Stadium until 2023, and should the Cityzens boss leave Manchester once it's up, the defending Premier League champions could turn to Arteta as his successor given that Mikel worked as Pep's assistant coach for several years.
The Arsenal manager is happy in the English capital and would thus likely accept a new deal. He currently pockets £5M ($6.8M) annually but that should increase if he puts pen to paper on a contract extension. Nonetheless, Arteta will not lose sleep over this issue as his focus will solely be on the ongoing Premier League campaign.
Saka and Co. have not played a top-flight game since their 2-1 loss to Man City on New Year's Day but will be back in action this Sunday, hosting Burnley at the Emirates Stadium. The home side face another selection headache as both Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are suspended for this tie, with the Ghanaian midfielder continuing the club's string of red cards as he was sent off in the Carabao Cup home defeat against Liverpool.