Former Arsenal and Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta has reached an agreement in principle with Arsenal to be their new manager from the 2018-19 season, reports GOAL.
Arsene Wenger resigned from his post in mid-April following Arsenal’s disappointing Premier League campaign, which saw the club finish 12 points off a Champions League berth, and in 6th place, behind Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs.
Wenger’s last season at Arsenal was the worst of his managerial career, as he failed to utilize a talented group of players, or tie franchise player Alexis Sanchez down to a long-term contract.
Since the start of 2018, Arsenal lost every single away game in the league till the final gameweek, when they beat Huddersfield away with a 1-0 margin. They bowed out of the Europa League with an aggregate loss to Atletico Madrid at the semi-final stage.
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This will be Arteta’s first job as a top-level football manager. As a player, the Spaniard emerged from Barcelona’s youth academy to play for Paris St. Germain in his first spell as a senior pro.
He was then sold to Glasgow Rangers, where he played for 2 years before signing with Real Sociedad to play alongside Xabi Alonso.
Arteta moved to England with Everton for a 6-year spell that comprised the bulk of his pro career. He signed with Arsenal as a replacement for Fabregas in 2011. The medio retired after 5 years at the club to join City as an assistant coach to Pep Guardiola.
This is a bold move by Arsenal, as big clubs tend to appoint managers with proven managerial pedigree. Max Allegri was one of the candidates Arsenal were rumoured to be interested in, but those rumours have now been subjected to a death-knell by this appointment.
Nevertheless, Arteta is familiar with the ins and outs of the club hierarchy, and will be well-received as a manager by a fanbase which has not seen a manager other than Wenger in charge for 22 years now.
Questions remain, however, as to whom Arteta will recruit as part of his backroom coaching staff.