Mikel Arteta’s future is wrapped up in uncertainty and he knows that. The Spaniard’s contract with Arsenal runs until June 2015, but there is a distinct possibility that he will be let go this summer.
The 32-year-old midfielder joined the Gunners from Everton in 2011 and quickly established himself as a key player for Arsene Wenger’s side. He made 29 Premier League starts in his debut season at the Emirates Stadium, 34 in 2012-13 and 27 in 2013-14.
However, the performance of the Spaniard dipped this campaign and there are strong suggestions that Arsenal are looking for an upgrade on the former Rangers and Real Sociedad man.
Wenger is keen to add a ‘midfield general’ to his squad for next season - someone who is young, energetic and can really push his team forward. Lars Bender of Bayer Leverkusen and Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin are just two of the players linked with a move to Arsenal this summer (although the former has said that he is not looking to leave the Bundesliga just yet).
Arteta knows fully well that his future will be among a host of topics that will be discussed by the Arsenal hierarchy in the summer. He insists that he wants to stay, but admits that if the club does not want him, then he is not going to make a fuss and will leave quietly.
‘I don’t know what is going to happen’, The Mirror quotes him as saying. ‘With players over 30 they have a policy and I don’t know if they plan to change it or maintain it... Yes, (we’ll talk) this summer and see what they want to do. I’m relaxed because I am only going to stay here or wherever if they really want me to stay and I feel productive’.
Arteta has one more year left on his contract, so Arsenal could decide to cash in on him and make a bit of money. The other alternative is to sign a younger player and then acclimatise him into the role, while gradually phasing out the Spaniard. If the FA Cup finalists do decide to do that, then they run the risk of losing Arteta on a free next summer.