The homecoming of the beloved Gunner Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta has a big task on his hands after being appointed as the new Arsenal boss.
Arteta was loved by one and all while he was at the club. Arteta was a committed footballer and used to give his all for the team.
Being a youth player at Barcelona, he never got an opportunity to showcase his skills for their first team. His senior debut was surprisingly, as a loanee in Ligue 1 with PSG. Arteta was also a part of the Scottish Club, Rangers, where he was an important part of the domestic double-winning squad.
At Antiguoko, the place where Arteta began his football career was also where he met Xabi Alonso. Their friendship grew as they played regularly on weekends.He joined Real Sociedad for € 5.2 million in 2004, hoping he would get to play with his dear friend Xabi Alonso.
However, Alonso left for Liverpool, which led to Arteta slowly losing his place in the team as he started only three league matches. The then Everton manager, David Moyes signed him in the 2005 January transfer window on loan with a view on a permanent transfer.
The Spaniard was a vital part in helping Everton to achieve the possibility of qualifying for the UCL as they finished fourth in the Premier League. Although, the dream was shattered as they were knocked out by Villarreal in the final qualifying round.
The midfielder was very impressive for the Toffees and was awarded both, Everton Fans’ Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the Season awards.
The Barcelona youth prospect won Everton's Player of the Season award for the second year running. He was also voted as the ‘Midfielder of the Year’ of the Premier League, beating Cristiano Ronaldo in the process, who won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
Upon departing Everton, Arteta said,” I am 29 years old so I haven’t got much time left to take a chance like this one". Signing for the Gunners in 2011, Arteta scored his first goal for them against Blackburn Rovers.
The combative midfielder captained the Arsenal side for the first time in an FA Cup game against Leeds United. The game also marked the homecoming of Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
The Spaniard became Arsenal’s new club captain ahead of the 2014-15 season. His first trophy as a captain was the 2014-15 Community Shield, beating Manchester City.
His last game for Arsenal was also the last game of the 15-16 season, as he received a standing ovation from the crowd at full time for his services.
Guardiola and Arteta first met at the Barcelona Academy, Guardiola being 11 years older than Arteta. The two kept in touch since Arteta came on as Guardiola’s substitute in his Barcelona B team debut. This made him take up the assistant coach job at Manchester City on July 3, 2016.
Arteta also deputised for Guardiola in the UCL match against Lyon because of Guardiola’s touchline ban. At Man City, he won the FA Cup, two Premier League titles and two EFL cups.
Following the departure of Arsene Wenger, he was strongly linked but Unai Emery was ultimately hired. Emery’s unsuccessful run with the team led to the appointment of Arteta as the Arsenal boss on 20th December 2019.
He is loved by one and all at the Emirates but looking at the condition Arsenal are in, it will a challenging job for Arteta to get Arsenal back to its former glory.
featured image credits-skysports.com