Martin Keown explains why Gunners should have waited to extend Arteta’s contract
Former Arsenal star Martin Keown has questioned the timing of the renewal of Mikel Arteta’s contract with the north London outfit.
The club announced this week that the young manager had extended his stay with the club. However, Keown thinks a decision on the manager’s contract should have been taken at the end of the season.
Speaking to TalkSPORT (via Football London), Keown explained:
“They’ve just lost three games and won three games. I thought they might have waited until the summer because we are now at a crossroads and got a huge game coming up. They obviously feel there’s no desire for any change, they’re happy. I think they’re right. I probably would’ve waited until the summer.”
The former Gunners centre-back conceded that some internal factors might have led to the contract extension. He added:
“Perhaps there was a clamour for the manager from other clubs, we don’t know what’s happening internally. They wanted to meet his needs and felt no reason for any kind of change. We could’ve been looking at a very different situation had they not beaten Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham all in one week.””If they’d been announcing after losing those games, it might have been a different situation. I think it’s good for the players, get the man in and settled in place. The person in charge has to be looked after and resolved. It feels like the start of the journey.”
With four games remaining, Arsenal look to be in a strong position to finish in the top four. However, they will need to keep Tottenham Hotspur at bay, as Spurs sit just two points behind them. The two sides will meet next week (May 12) in a crucial encounter that could impact both sides’ top-four chances.
Arsenal are interested in Raheem Sterling: Report
According to a report circulated by Calciomercato (via Football London), Arsenal could be the potential destination for English forward Raheem Sterling this summer.
Mikel Arteta’s team have reportedly identified the Manchester City star as a potential option to feature in the Gunners’ attack. Their need for attackers may have to do with the imminent departures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, whose contracts expire in the summer.
Arteta knows Sterling well, having worked with the forward during his time as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City. The Gunners have also been linked with a move for his City teammate Gabriel Jesus.
Arsenal will hope they can acquire either player’s signature and add goals and experience to their young squad. However, no announcements are likely to be made by either party till the start of the summer transfer window.