Arsene Wenger runs rule over Arsenal star’s ‘huge influence’
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta will make a great manager in the future
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta continues to have a huge influence at The Emirates.
The veteran Spanish midfielder has been limited to a handful of first-team minutes this season due a string of injury problems.
Arteta wasn’t named in Wenger’s match-day squad for their 2-1 victory over the playmaker’s former employers Everton at The Emirates on Sunday.
I must say Mikel is still here as a football player. The first thing in life, when you sign the contract you have to give absolutely everything to the job you have signed for and I think he does that very well.
However, Gunners manager Wenger lifted the lid on Arteta’s continued influence on the Gunners squad despite his injury-hit season.
“Mikel has a huge influence even when he is not playing,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.
“He is super conscientious, and every morning two hours before training he prepares and that is absolutely right.
“Just through his behaviour, his focus on getting everything right in the team, he has a huge influence. He has great experience and is respected throughout the squad.”
Wenger added that Arteta has the qualities to become a successful manager when the midfielder decides to call time on his playing career.
Wenger continued: “I really hope Mikel considers going into coaching. When you manage, you want to see your players continue and see them give their experience and knowledge back.
“You want them to give their expertise of the way we want to play football and the way we want to behave. It would be great if someone like Mikel went into management, so somewhere the spirit of our game can survive through the players who have played for us.
“But at the moment I must say Mikel is still here as a football player. The first thing in life, when you sign the contract you have to give absolutely everything to the job you have signed for and I think he does that very well.
“He has the quality to be a manager in the future I’m sure, but at the moment he gives his focus on the job as a player and gives absolutely everything.”
Arteta has made five appearances from the substitute’s bench this season, racking up just 105 minutes of first-team football.
The 33-year-old has scored 16 goals in 141 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners following his £10m move to Arsenal from Everton in 2011.