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‘I don’t see why’ – Arsenal warned against ‘ridiculous’ decision unless one condition is met

It would be “ridiculous” for Arsenal to extend the contract of manager Mikel Arteta now, according to one pundit who has advised them on a condition they must set.

Arteta has been in charge of Arsenal since December 2019, when he left a coaching role with Manchester City to replace Unai Emery in the Emirates Stadium hotseat. By the end of his first season, he was lifting the FA Cup trophy.

He followed it up with victory in the Community Shield later that summer, laying the foundations for a successful spell.

However, things have not always progressed as smoothly as expected. The Spaniard could only lead Arsenal to an eighth-place finish last season. It marked the first time they missed out on European qualification for 25 years.

But, with the help of a couple of summer signings, Arsenal seem to be back on track this season. After 21 games of their season (which is less than all the teams above them), they are sixth in the table, two points away from the top four.

Arteta has faced his fair share of challenges, but Arsenal are reportedly ready to pledge their faith in him.

Aware there is a risk of former employers Man City eyeing him as a successor to Pep Guardiola since their contracts both expire in 2023, Arsenal could try to extend Arteta’s deal.

That was recently reported by the Daily Mail, but the update has drawn a negative reaction from Gabby Agbonlahor.

The former Premier League striker has blasted Arsenal for considering giving Arteta a new contract before they have returned to the Champions League berths.

He told Football Insider: “I think it’s ridiculous.

“Arsenal should give Arteta a new contract if they finish in the top four. I don’t see why you would give him a new contract if they finish sixth or seventh.

“There’s every chance Arsenal could even finish seventh or eighth this season. I don’t see why they would give him a contract yet.”

From 113 matches in charge of Arsenal so far, the 39-year-old has won 62, drawn 20 and lost 31. That gives him a win rate of just under 55 per cent.

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Can Arteta take Arsenal further?

Agbonlahor is not the first pundit to have raised questions about Arteta’s long-term future.

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson said at the weekend that the ex-Everton player may have taken the club as far as he can.

“I think this is their ceiling at the moment,” he told ESPN FC’s Extra Time.

“I think in maybe a couple of years time when the likes of [Bukayo] Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and these sort of players, [Gabriel] Martinelli who’s had a good spell in the team, and some of the younger players come through, I think Arsenal will be a good side.

“But I just think it’s hit its ceiling at the moment.

“I think they’ve gone as far as they can with Arteta this season and I think top four would be a great position for them. I don’t think they’re going to get it.”

Arsenal last finished in the top four in the 2015-16 season, when they were runners up to Leicester City. That was, coincidentally, Arteta’s final season as a player for the Gunners before he retired.

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