Arsenal looked to have lost the presence of Mikel Arteta when the midfielder expressed his displeasure at being offered only a 12 month extension over the existing contract.
Arteta even went far as questioning the judgement of manager Arsene Wenger by saying that the experienced players will offer a lot of more to the team than the Frenchman thinks. Such talks looked to have ended his Arsenal career, but he has agreed a new extension to his deal. This will see the 33-year-old stay for another 12 months at the least. Arsenal were also concerned about the fitness of the former Everton midfielder, but he has proven enough to earn himself a new contract.
Arsene Wenger admitted that Arteta has become a major figure in the Arsenal dressing room over the last few years. He arrived from Everton on transfer deadline day of 2011 for £ 10 million. He was initially viewed as a short-term signing in order to tide over the lack of quality in the midfield. However, he has proven extremely valuable over the last few years. Wenger has transformed Arteta from being a dynamic attacking midfielder into a defensive playmaker. In the absence of Arteta for much of last season, Wenger went in for the partnership of Santi Cazorla and Coquelin.
“He will stay with us for one more year because he has extended his contract.He’s one of the leaders in the club because he’s the captain of the team. I expect him to contribute much more than last season, but he also faces a battle. With the number of games we have ahead, we could use his experience, his desire and his quality as it will be vital for next season,” said Wenger. Arteta was reportedly looking at the possibility of a return to Spanish football.