Premier League • England

Prem manager admits it is ‘very nice’ to be linked with the Arsenal job

Thomas Frank Brentford

A Premier League manager has admitted it is flattering to be linked with Arsenal job.

Mikel Arteta’s role at the Emirates has repeatedly come into question over the past few seasons. The Spaniard has been called out for his inexperience and lack of tactics in the big games.

His position looked particularly precarious after the first three Premier League matches of the season. Arsenal had lost to Brentford on the opening day, before being beaten by Chelsea and thrashed by Manchester City.

It looked like the former midfielder could lose his job just weeks into the 2021-22 campaign. But victories against Norwich, Burnley and Tottenham have seen his team move up the table.

Arteta will be hoping for a successful few months as Arsenal eye a return to European competition. They missed out last season with an eighth-placed finish, just one point behind north London rivals Tottenham.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank continues to be linked with the job, no matter how well Arteta does. The Dane steered his side into the top flight for the first time in 74 years.

They enjoy an attacking style of play which could help them retain their place in the league. The Bees have gained a respectable 12 points from seven matches so far.

Spurs joined by Arsenal in pursuit of Ollie Watkins

Spurs joined by Arsenal in pursuit of Ollie Watkins

Spurs are said to be joined by north London rivals Arsenal in their pursuit of Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins, with more updates on Nuno Espirito Santo and Italy striker Andrea Belotti.

During an interview with Danish outlet Bold, Frank was asked about the Arsenal links. He said: “I think I read that at some point. It’s very nice, but one thing is rumours, and the other is if they really wanted to contact me. Then we have to take it from there.”

On his love for his current team, Frank added: “I have a contact until 2023. I’m insanely happy at Brentford. A club that means a lot to me and where I have had great times. I enjoy working with our director of football, owners, players, staff and fans.

“It’s the club who must come to me, but now we must see what the future brings. I know we have a mutual respect and a good relationship with each other on that.”

Brentford’s first game back after the international break is against Chelsea. Arsenal, meanwhile, play Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.

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Arsenal man makes exit hint

Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has suggested that he could move on permanently next year.

The right-back joined Real Betis on a season-long loan in August. Arteta brought in Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna as his replacement.

Bellerin has always been a Betis fan thanks to his father. When asked if his spell there may be extended, Bellerin said: “If I didn’t want to be here next year, I wouldn’t have come from the beginning.

“There are many things to be decided but what I want to do is enjoy the year that I am here. And what has to happen will happen.”

The Spaniard has made 239 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions. He has won both the FA Cup and Community Shield on three occasions.

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