Mikel Arteta injured for the second time already this season.
Mikel Arteta has joined Olivier Giroud in the list of players extending their stays at the Emirates, with the captain now set to stay on till 2016.
Arteta, who joined Arsenal on transfer deadline day in 2011, has been a solid performer for Arsenal over the years, playing a key role in steadying the ship in the wake of the departure of key players Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. He has been required to play what has been a more demanding role in the defensive department of the team, initially playing alongside Alex Song, and later having to replace him as the deepest lying holding midfield player. He has struggled to be the destructive rock that most opinionists believe Arsenal have lacked, with some performances this season exposing his struggles in that area, not least the Dortmund game.
However, Wenger had always relied on Arteta for organizing his team on the pitch as well as playing a vital role in the dressing room and though he would be into his 34th year and probably not a regular feature in the team by the end of the summer of 2016, he is still considered as part of the core of players who will lay the foundation for the success of the Wilshere-Ramsey generation. In more ways than one, it is a good deal.
Arteta has become more of an Arsenal man than he ever was a hero at Goodison. Perhaps not enjoying the same goal scoring prowess, he has taken up the role of leader and motivator in the team, someone to whom the younger players look up to. His role in helping the Spanish arrivals settle into the team cannot be estimated as the likes of Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal were able to easily acclimatize with the environment around the Emirates due to Arteta’s influence, not only due to his long stay in England, but also in London. He has now gone on to play a captaining role in the club’s most successful period in 9 years, joining Vermaelen in lifting the FA Cup in May, and taking all the pains of the Community Shield plate all by himself.
It is wholly true that Wenger must seek out a real solution for the DM role as Arteta is, at best, an octagon-shaped peg in a round hole – good, but not good enough. Rosicky has not always played much but has been kept in the squad due to his commitment to the Arsenal over the years.
Arteta’s new deal shouldn’t be a guarantee that he remains the team’s defensive midfielder, even if it does mean that Wilshere will have to wait a little longer to get the rope round his arm.
Is Arsenal’s extending of Arteta’s contract a right or wrong move?
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