It looks almost certain now that Arsene Wenger will have to appoint a new player as the captain of Arsenal Football Club in the summer, even though the current holder of the position Mikel Arteta is fit to play again and the boss reckons that he could still do a job on the pitch at 34 years of age.
Arteta will be out of contract with Arsenal when the season ends and it seems like he will be one of the Arsenal players moving on. Wenger was full of praise for the contribution of the Spaniard to the Arsenal cause, both as a player and in his roles as a leader in the dressing room, but the Frenchman also suggested in an Arsenal.com report that there is no room for him at the club in a coaching role, at least not at the minute.
Wenger hinted that he would like to bring Arteta on board but unless one of the current coaching team leaves then he would not be forcing them out to make room for our club captain. Perhaps that is why the manager talked up Arteta’s chances of keeping his playing career going, because reports in the football media are claiming that there could be a place for Arteta to coach with our Premier League rivals Man City, where the midfielder’s old friend from Barcelona Pep Guardiola is about to take charge.
Wenger said, “It is true that he is out of contract here and when his contract finishes it is a good opportunity for me to thank him for his contribution, not only as a player but also as a great leader.
“What kind of orientation will he give now to his career? I heard about [coaching] as a possibility, but he could inform you much better than I can. He is free to decide to do what he wants, he will certainly need some time to reflect on whether he continues to play.
“I still think he can play, in the last months he has come back to a very good physical level and he is a position today where he can continue to play and he would be a very good player everywhere.
“You want your former players to be at the club but you also need the positions to fill. You cannot create artificial positions at the club. If you have coaches in the under-16s, under-15s and under-14s who are very good, you will not kick them out to make room for players who want to coach.
“If we have positions available, we always give a good chance to the players who played here. Let’s not forget I’ve given the opportunity to many, many players to obtain their licence here, to educate them.
“After that maybe there will be someone else. We always open the door to give them an opportunity to be educated. After that we need the positions available to give them the job. We don’t know what will happen with the coaches’ movement.”
It appears that Wenger is not going to offer Arteta a job just to keep him from joining Man City then, but do you get the impression that he would rather his player went elsewhere until a position at Arsenal did open up?