Mikel Arteta close to Arsenal return – but will he play?

Our captain and leader Mikel Arteta has not played for Arsenal since last November, but the 33 year-old has now revealed on Arsenal.com that he expects to rejoin the first team squad in the next “week or two”. Arteta’s contract runs out in June and he has already spoken of his desire to stay if he regains his full fitness and feels that he can contribute to the team, but obviously he needs his ankle to be completely healed first.

“I haven’t trained enough with the team yet to come back into the side,” Arteta said. “We need to manage the workload on the ankle. I played for the under-21s against Stoke recently, and I’ve been feeling OK, but I’m not in a position yet where I can feel perfect and just go out there forgetting about my ankle.”

“I need to train more with the team, get my confidence and build it up. My aim now is to train with the team for another week or two and then be able to say to the boss ‘OK, I’m ready now if you want to pick me.’

“It’s been a frustrating time for me, but I would love to be able to finish the season by lifting a trophy of course.”

Arteta is certainly very talented, despite getting on in years, and will be hoping to get chance to impress Arsene Wenger before the season ends, but with the dogfight Arsenal are in with Man City and Man United for second place means that he is unlikely to be risked at the moment as the club has a whole host of talent in midfield right now.

Arteta has mostly been used as a DM when available, but now that Francis Coquelin has made that spot his own it may be difficult for the Spaniard to even get a game next season, especially if Arsenal bring in another younger DM this summer.

The Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has wondered why Arteta even wants to stay on the bench at the Emirates. “I’m very surprised about that because he’s not going to play. When you get to the end of your career, for me I’d rather move away and play on a regular basis, maybe drop down a few levels or go mid-table,” Parlour said on TalkSport.

The only reason I can think that Arteta wants to remain is so he can can do his coaching courses and prepare for a future in management, and obviously he can pass on his knowledge and experience to our younger players, but surely he won’t get much actual playing time? What do you think?

Tags Arteta Parlour


  1. I think its best if Arteta leaves. I am not a fan of having a captain on the bench. truth be told he won’t be a starter. We saw that with Thomas vaminator. captain on the bench and feeling very unhappy. I don’t care how well he passes the ball but most often the are sideways. We retain possesion but we don’t have that threat.

    Coq is more direct and its easire for us to transition from defence to attack. Moreover Arteta lacks the legs to play a high tempo. he will be out ran over and over again.

    Most fans want a new DM. how can you justify the idea of buying another DM and keeping Arteta? We have Rambo and jack as well who are younger and are better when playing deep.

    Out Going
    Podolski Arteta Diaby Sanogo Flamini Campbell.

  2. He won’t get a game. For the life in me i can’t see why Wenger would want to keep him, and have our Captain once again as a player wasting away on a subs bench. I’m sure the addition of a Wanyama, Carvalho or Schneiderlin will limit Arteta’s first team chances to zero. Even Ramsay can’t play where he wants to at the moment due to so many good midfielders at the club.

  3. Arteta has been a loyal
    servant of Wenger through
    the tough times so Wenger
    feels he owes Arteta another season.

  4. 100% Arteta should stay next season. First no one Knows if Wenger will even buy a midfielder this summer. Not unfortunate for arsenal because he’s doing brilliantly but unfortunately for all the people banging on about us needing a DM we’ve now got a very good one and its Coquelin. We were never going to buy 2 out and out DM’s. Arteta’s top quality people just use him as one of the scapegoats in the team because the team as a whole wasn’t doing their defensive duties it not just Le Coq who’s improved the team. Arteta is a perfect backup. Not having a decent backup central defender and other midfielders being too attack minded was our biggest problem. I always think our play is much more fluid with Arteta in the team he’s so underrated. Even if we buy 1 more midfielder this summer I think he should stay we need good depth and if Flamini is leaving and Diaby even if he gets a contract how much can he play. Arteta should stay great professional to have around the squad also.

  5. Dear or dear, reading those funny comments. I guess you’ve never heard of “leadership”? Young boys need role models. Who else will teach them the art of football? Wenger is not there to be their daddy on the pitch, they need Artetas, Rosickys, Merts of this world to help them grow and blossom into players you all jerk off to on your FIFAs.

    Sell all our old players and you’re be left with a bunch of young rich kids, thinking they own this circus.

    1. Arteta ain’t no leader.

      A leader should inspire and motivate and I don’t think those are his strong points.

      I think Jack will be a good leader, but he ain’t a good enough player and a cpt needs to be in team not on bench.

      Kos would be good, Terry, Kompany some of the best cpts are defenders.

      Sanchez would of been great if he had decent English skills.

      If Coq continues he will be good, remember calling Sanchez out, what a beast is coq

      1. I think some people put too much merit in the small part of the squad interaction they see. There is more to a captain than simply on game day. Just because a player doesn’t shout and throw himself into every challenge doesn’t mean he isn’t captain material or doesn’t inspire through example.

  6. I would keep him around for another season. We seem to have an injury crisis every season, so it would be wise to have good quality squad depth for once. Keep Arteta, get rid of Diaby and Flamini and sign another quality DM or box-to-box midfielder.

  7. Anyone remembers that beauty of a freekick Arteta scored against City? 🙂
    Arteta is playing the wrong position, he should be playing alongside a more defensively minded player e.g. Song, Schneirdelin, Coquelin etc

      1. Ridiculous. I can name a handful of players in same poSition who are better than coutinho

    1. No Agüero either, despite being the league’s top scorer. No Man City players at all in fact. I wouldn’t have any others, but the suggestion of Coutinho being anywhere near the level of David Silva is ridiculous. Mata, Özil, Cazorla, Silva and Fabregas are all comfortably better than Coutinho..

    1. 🙂 nice way to start the afternoon
      hope it stays that way 🙂

      I will settle for an Arsenal win but Arsenal win AND United loss would be super sweet

  8. I heard Falcao, Di Maria, Valdes, Van Pursestrings, Pereira are on the bench. Might as well give a couple of them a run out for some game time lol

  9. Chelsea puts out an attacking team today with hazard upfront. at least we will see a great match. no zouma but dat dirty guy called ramires plays. hope d referee do his homework right

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