Arsenal have reached full agreement with Mikel Arteta over the role of head coach, and all that’s left is to negotiate his release from Man City.
Club executives have held a series of talks with the former captain, and his announcement as the full-time replacement for Unai Emery is expected to be made as soon as the business is finalised with the champions.
It’s been almost three weeks since the former Valencia and Sevilla boss was relieved of his duties, and in that time Arsenal have gone back to a man who almost got the job in May 2018.
Since being overlooked back then, Arteta remained a key part of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Man City, picking up two Premier League titles in 2018 and 2019.
Individual players like Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus have credited him with their improvement, but he will have a very different and much more difficult job on his hands when he returns to North London.
Arsenal are on a run which has seen them win just once in their last twelve games in all competitions; confidence is low; there are issues with players on and off the pitch; and there are significant problems in key areas of the pitch – especially midfield and defence.
For a first time job, it’s one hell of a challenge, but Arsenal are in rebuilding mode right now, and expectations regarding the rest of the season are so low that he should have time to implement his ideas between now and May.
If he can get a run in Europe or the FA Cup going too, then there might still be something left to salvage from the reason.