Premier League • England

Arteta admits to considering Spain return after Barcelona links as Arsenal boss knows ‘it will come’

Mikel Arteta, Spain

Mikel Arteta has admitted he will return to Spain

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted he has considered a return to Spain, as he has “always thought that one day I’ll come back” to his home country.

After a failed experiment with Unai Emery, the Gunners found the perfect man to carry on Arsene Wenger’s legacy. The Frenchman won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups as manager of the north London outfit.

Emery won no silverware during the course of his 78 games in charge of Arsenal, and they finished fifth in his only full season.

Arteta was given the job amid a good run in the FA Cup, and led his side to the honour, though did not have to do an awful lot of work for it.

His initial returns in the league were not fantastic, with his first two seasons ending in eighth-placed finishes.

But he had a clear plan from the off, and his third season saw the Gunners finish fifth and showed gains were being made.

Last season, Arsenal took a huge jump to battling for the title, and though they came second to Manchester City, they have a chance at beating them to the title on the final day this campaign.

Indeed, the way things are going, it looks as if Arteta’s Gunners will be competitive for as long as he’s at the helm – but how long he stays is a question in itself.

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Arteta will ‘come back’ to Spain

He was linked to the Barcelona job when Xavi announced he’d be leaving his post at the end of the season.

While the former Barca midfielder has now gone back on that decision, the potential that Arteta could head back to his native Spain still exists.

Indeed, the Arsenal boss has admitted he feels that his future down the line will lie back home.

“I’ve always thought that one day I’ll come back [to Spain],” he said.

“My land pulls me a lot, our way of living, of getting together, the culture, and that makes me always have it in my head. But I’m happy here, happy with how I’m treated, I really enjoy my job. Someday I guess it will come, I’m not going to be out [of Spain] all my life.”

Whether or not that is to Barcelona, where Arteta started his playing career, remains to be seen.

However, it is clear he does not expect to be in north London forever.

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