I dread to think just how many articles have been posted on Just Arsenal exhorting Arsene Wenger to buy a new defensive midfielder this summer, but many of us thought it would be dependent on Arsenal letting Mikel Arteta leave the club first.
But now our club captain has revealed that there was hardly any doubt that he would sign an extension – once he had proved he had recovered full fitness after his six month injury problem. The 34 year-old admitted that he was very relaxed about his new extension as he knew the club were “very keen” to keep him on the books.
“We had a chat in the middle of the season with the manager, Ivan [Gazidis] and Dick [Law] and I knew exactly what they were thinking about me,” he said on the official Arsenal website. “My desire was to stay here so I was very relaxed about signing it. We left it until the end, we got it signed and I am so pleased to stay here.
“I was injured for the last six months with an ankle surgery, that’s why I wanted to wait, to see how I was feeling about the end of the season and if I could have another go at this level. We waited, they were really keen to maintain me on the team and that was my first option, so I’m really happy to stay.
“My first option was to be here. I’m really happy here and I feel valued. I wasn’t looking at anything unless I thought that I couldn’t do it [here]. First and foremost I had to decide whether I could do another full season here and I believe I can.”
“The good thing about football is that it doesn’t matter what you did last week, so it doesn’t matter what you did six months ago, a year ago or what I’ve done in the past here,”
“Everybody is starting from zero from the beginning of the season and you need to earn your place. When I have been fit I have always been involved. Obviously the years go on and you have some players coming in, which makes the competition strong, but that’s what you’re here for, to make each other better. For that we need to work hard.”
No-one can deny that Arteta has been fantastic for the Gunners since his arrival from Everton, and it always helps to have an experienced head on the pitch and in the dressing room. In fact I believe there is a possibility that one day the little Spaniard could become a manager of Arsenal, but I still hope that he will have to fight for his place against a new beast of a signing as well as Francis Coquelin!