Mikel Arteta is expected to be named as Arsenal’s permanent head coach – but what are the qualities that have seen him move into pole position for the job? Arteta is in advanced talks to become the permanent successor to Unai Emery at the Emirates Stadium. Talks between Arsenal and Manchester City are ongoing and progressing well, with City boss Pep Guardiola expecting Arteta to make a quick decision over his future. Arteta is about to become Arsenal head coach 18 months after he was first interviewed for the job. He came very close to being appointed in the summer of 2018 after Arsene Wenger left but at the last minute, Arsenal decided to give the job to Unai Emery instead.
Arteta’s appointment will receive a mixed reception from Arsenal fans. Many are concerned by his lack of managerial experience, others are more open to the idea of bringing in a former Arsenal captain to rebuild the playing side of the club. As far as the Arsenal board are concerned, they have long been impressed with Arteta and it was only a last-minute change of heart that saw Emery appointed ahead of him 18 months ago. Arteta fits the bill because he is an outstanding young coach who has played for Arsenal and knows what it means to play for and represent the club. He has worked under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City for three years and, like Guardiola, came through the Barcelona system as a player. He has played an important part in making City one of the best sides in the world. He works closely with individual players and has been credited with playing a key role in the development of young players such as Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane.
Arteta wants the Arsenal job and he will cost a lot less in compensation and wages than other big-name managers. Arsenal are expected to pay City less than £1m and Arteta’s estimated annual salary of £5m is less than half what managers such as Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp earn. Arteta’s ability to speak English fluently is also an important factor in his appointment. Emery struggled to communicate effectively with the media and fans and Arsenal were determined to make sure their new manager was a good English speaker. It also helps that Arteta speaks Spanish when it comes to dealing with club executives such as head of football Raul Sanllehi. Manchester City’s current manager Pep Guardiola. In an interview with my colleague Geoff Shreeves, Pep said he’d definitely be a candidate to replace him at City, and in recent weeks has made no secret of the high esteem he holds his No 2 in.