If Gunners fans had any doubts about whether Arteta had the force of personality to lead them back to the big time, the first few weeks of the Spaniard’s managerial career should have dispelled any doubts.
Already, Arsenal look a far more solid and hard-working team under the rookie tactician with the former Manchester City assistant also catching the eye with his straight-talking, unassuming approach in the press room.
And, according to reports in France, he is also more than happy to make his feelings known in the board room. Paris United claims that Arteta has gone against the wishes of technical director Edu Gaspar by blocking Kurzawa’s move to North London.
The French international was reported to have already agreed a five-year contract with the Premier League giants, via France Football, but he is now on his way to Juventus instead.
While it is not clear why Arteta stuck his oar in, the performances of Bukayo Saka in an unfamiliar left-back role might have been a contributing factor. The 18-year-old winger shone out of position against Bournemouth on Monday, scoring Arsenal’s first and assisting the second in a 2-1 FA Cup win.
Furthermore, Sead Kolasinac and the excellent Kieran Tierney are due to return from injury sooner rather than later. Arteta, then, must be applauded for putting his faith in youth rather than giving the green light to a £20 million Frenchman.
Kurzawa would have been well into his thirties by the time his five-year Arsenal contract comes to an end. By then, however, Saka and Tierney could be among some of the best left-sided flyers in the game.
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