Arsenal’s captain Mikel Arteta has agreed a one year contract extension with the club. His contract was due to ran out next summer. It continues a trend from the club to resolve the futures of several of it core players. The deal according to reports is expected to be announced during the international break.
Mikel Arteta joined Arsenal on deadline day from Everton in 2011 in a £10 million deal. He has gone on to establish himself as one of the club’s key players. He formed an impressive partnership with Alex Song in midfield in his first season, and that partnership aided Arsenal to finish third after a difficult start, with Mikel Arteta scoring the key goal in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in April, 2012.
Following Alex Song’s departure to Barcelona, he was deployed in a deeper role in midfield. That is the position he has played for the last three seasons. His influence on the side was such that Arsenal did not win any match in January, 2013 when he was out injured with a calf injury.
However, the injuries have become a regular part of time at Arsenal. He is currently out injured with a calf injury, and he has had ankle issues during his time at the club. At 32, going to 33, this would be last contract with the club, particularly as Arsene Wenger would want him to continue in the captaincy for another year having just been appointed to the position following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen.
The offer of a new contract to Mikel Arteta no doubt offers stability to the club on the playing side, something Arsene Wenger craves alot. However, the former Everton midfielder has been in steady decline with age, and his pace which is disappearing fast like the vegetations of the Sahara is a cause for concern. What it means is that as the captain of the side, he is bound to continue to lead Arsenal out for matches whenever he is fit when he is clearly a weakness in the side with his lack of pace.
Although, Arsene Wenger rates him for his technical ability and his leadership qualities, yet, his waning influence in matches is clearly obvious whenever he plays compared to when he was first signed. His tackling ability has completely deserted him, and he is sometimes incapable of winning the ball cleanly without committing a foul.
His continuous stay in the side would be a conundrum as the position of defensive midfield would continue to be a subject of debate.
The Basque midfielder despite the shortcomings would at least be around to lead the Arsenal troops until 2016 with his contract extension.