Sky Sports was among the sources running the news yesterday that Mikel Arteta had agreed a one-year contract extension at Arsenal.
Arteta is one of the most experienced players in the current squad and Arsene Wenger has shown the faith to keep him at the club despite the chance the Gunners could add in the holding midfield role in the near future.
The positive for Arsenal is that very experience. Arteta has the ability to inject some calm into a very young and exciting team, which is developing in a number of different ways.
The obvious negative is that it hints Wenger is not likely to add another player in Arteta’s central midfield position until at least the summer.
A high profile midfielder who can come into the team with proven quality in terms of the holding midfield role would be ideal.
Arsenal are blessed with midfield talent in terms of players who control possession and create chances, but they still lack an authority protecting their back four.
Arteta knows the team and the setup, but he’s a safe player at a time when it’s arguable the club need to invest big and bring in high profile names as they did with Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid and Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.
Those transfers will lead to frustration within the club’s support base because they are proof the club has the cash to spend.
However, it’s difficult to do big deals in the middle of a season because clubs are so reluctant to let their best players leave, with it being difficult to find replacements.
With Arteta still offering some form of value to the club, Wenger has gone with the smart option though it’s not the one some fans would have been hoping for.
Here’s what Arsenal fans on Twitter had to say about the news.
Wenger - forever having faith in average footballers #Arteta— Milo Colletti (@MiloColletti) January 28, 2015
Makes a nice change an Arsenal player willing to sign a 1 year contract 2 actually stay at our club & instead of going for the dosh #Arteta— AmandaAFC (@GoonerGirl1969) January 28, 2015
Dishing a contract extension to Arteta is EVERYTHING that's wrong with Wenger. He's a sentimentalist & reason Diaby still plays for Arsenal.— Feints & Twists'. (@LouieBankz) January 28, 2015