Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has signed a three-year contract extension with Arsenal football club. The deal binds the Spaniard to the Emirates until the end of the 2024-25 season.
Since taking over from Unai Emery at the end of 2019, Arteta has managed 127 games for the Gunners. The Spaniard has managed 72 wins and 20 draws in this period, with a win% of 56.7 (stats via Transfermarkt).
Mikel Arteta, who had formerly played for Arsenal for five years, was out of contract at the end of this season. The 40-year-old, on signing the extension, said in a statement:
“We want to take the club to the next level and to compete really with the top teams,”
“In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League.
“We have to be able to evolve the team, improve our players, improve all departments, generate even more connection with our fans, improve the atmosphere at the Emirates (Stadium), be able to recruit top, top talent and the best people for this club to drive this project to that level.”
On behalf of the Kroenke family group, Josh Kroenke commented:
“Mikel’s commitment and passion are clear for everyone to see,”
“We are confident that as we move forward, he will get us back to competing for the top trophies in the game.”
How Can Arteta Take Arsenal To The Next Level?
Arsenal have made use of 27 different players this season. However, only 16 of them have played over 750 minutes. Arteta has preferred to stick to a certain set of players and has largely rotated only to address injuries and suspensions.
European football next season promises tighter schedules and less recovery time between games. Arteta will need a competent set of backup players who he can count on whenever needed. This may require Arsenal to make a few signings in the transfer window, or dip into the youth ranks.
Arteta himself has recognised the need for a bigger squad. The Spaniard earlier explained that he wants 25 players at his disposal: 22 outfielders and 3 goal-keepers. If Mohamed Elneny leaves, Arsenal will have no natural backup for Thomas Partey. Kieran Tierney’s injury issues also pose a problem, while Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, and Bukayo Saka could also have better rotational options.
B. Improve Form In Front Of Goal:
This season, Arsenal have 54 goals from an xG of 53. Throughout the season, poor finishing or decision-making in front of goal has hurt the team. This could be broken down into two main reasons:
- Arsenal have not had consistency in the centre-forward position. Aubameyang was used for a few months and scored 4 times. Lacazette struggled to replicate the same form; managing only 4 goals in almost twice as many games. In recent weeks, Arteta has turned to Nketiah, who is also out of contract this summer. The Gunners are reportedly on the hunt for two striker profiles. This would undoubtedly boost their goal-scoring numbers next season.
- Arsenal average a shot distance of 17.2 yards. Only 5 teams average shots from farther than the Gunners. Furthermore, an Arsenal shot on average is worth just 0.09 xG. This is tied for the second-lowest in the league. Mikel Arteta’s side are tidy in possession but will need to convert passes into shots and shots into goals more efficiently.
C. Select A New Captain:
After Aubameyang’s departure, Arteta appointed Lacazette as captain for the rest of the season. The Frenchman also looks set to leave at the end of the season on a free transfer. Arteta will need to appoint a captain who could don the armband and lead the side for years to come. Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Aaron Ramsdale, and Kieran Tierney have all been touted as possible candidates. The final decision, however, rests with the manager.
D. Start On A Strong Note:
Mikel Arteta will be looking to make a strong start next season to establish Arsenal as serious competitors. For this, the Spaniard will need a transfer window where he can achieve:
- Sale of players struggling for regular minutes or those who are not good enough – Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny, Cedric Soares, and Bernd Leno could all follow Lacazette and Nketiah on the way out.
- Bring in competent replacements. Arsenal have already confirmed that Matt Turner, William Saliba, and Auston Trusty will be joining in the summer. The Gunners are also on the hunt for a midfielder, a right-back, and two strikers. The Gunners will need players who can compete for minutes on the medium-to-long run.
- Juventus Make €30m Rated Arsenal Defender Their Primary Target for This Summer; Lucrative Swap Deal on the Cards
- Arsenal Making Serious Efforts to Sign €55m Rated Bundesliga Forward, Club Willing to Sell Their Star Only on Two Conditions
- Arsenal and Manchester United Among Several Clubs to Have Made Contact With €40m Rated Serie A Forward
Having signed a contract extension, what should Mikel Arteta do to take Arsenal forward? Let us know in the comments.
Follow AD for the Latest Updates on Arsenal.