Contract renewals and improved offers are made according to a player’s performances in previous season, and based on that some people have suggested that a player like Arteta deserve an extension while others suggest he should not be offered one. The press in particular have been suggesting in their various reports that Arsenal may not offer the 32 year old former Everton midfielder a new contract due to his age.
Arsenal do have a policy in place, which does not seem to favour players above 30 years of age, and Arteta is 32. While speaking on arsenal.com a couple of months ago, Wenger had this to say on the player’s future:
“I like Mikel Arteta because of his quality, his focus, his commitment and his winner’s attitude. I have big respect for what he has achieved this season. He is very conscientious, very professional and he has a couple of years left [at the top].”
While the quality and professional commitment are not in doubt, he seems to have lost his pace, and slows down our play a bit. That we are constantly being linked with a move for Lars Bender and Morgan Schneiderlin is no big surprise. It shows the club is looking ahead; but does it indicate that Arteta’s contract will not be renewed?
On merit, I would say he deserves a new contract, but based on the club’s policy and the fact that he is not getting any younger, I would say no.
Arteta has one of the highest pass completion rates in the EPL with an average of 66.9 per game.
When interviewed in the media recently, the player spoke in favour of a new contract, and reiterated his desire to continue playing based on merit and not on age.
“I don’t value players by age. Whether it is [Tomas] Rosicky or Jack Wilshere, I analyse many other things before age. Age can be an asset for the club. For me, a much bigger asset is someone who has played 125 games in three years compared to someone who has played 25, if he is 20 years old. That’s my opinion.”
While some may not agree with the Spaniard, there is no doubt that a player with his experience still has a lot in him.
To me, he doesn’t look like a greedy player and I believe we can retain him on an additional one year contract with an option for another one year ( just as it is the case with Rosicky ) that is tied to a fixed number of games.
Arteta still has the experience and although he can’t play week in week out any more, his experience and leadership quality can rub off on the other players whether in training or in the dressing room.
What do you think?