Premier League • England

Arsenal latest: Mikel Arteta ready to ‘take club to the next level’ after signing new long-term contract

Guendouzi sale expected. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told he's made a mistake. Here the Gunners boss is seen following the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed his delight and plans for the future after signing a new three-year contract to remain at the club until 2025.

The 40-year-old took over at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019 following the dismissal of Unai Emery and after some up and down moments, he has stabilised the team and got the Gunners going back in the right direction.

Indeed, this season could see Arteta take Arsenal back into the Champions League for the first time in five years. The Gunners are currently fourth in the table, two points ahead of bitter rivals Tottenham with a big north London to come next Thursday.

“I’m excited, grateful and really, really happy today,” Arteta said after signing the extension, which runs until the end of the 2024-25 season.

“When I spoke to Josh he could see the club at the same point and he wanted to take the club the way I wanted to do it. So everything that he’s said, and that Stan has said when I’ve been together with both of them, they’ve always delivered.

“We want to take the club to the next level and to compete really with the top teams. In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League. We have to be able to evolve the team, improve our players, improve all departments, generate even more connection with our fans, improve the atmosphere at the Emirates, be able to recruit top, top talent and the best people for this club to drive this project to that level.”

Double whammy for Arsenal

Arsenal Women’s first-team coach Jonas Eidevall has also put pen to paper on a new deal after an impressive first season in London. He has taken the WSL title challenge all the way to the final weekend.

Josh Kroenke, speaking on behalf of our owners Kroenke, Sports & Entertainment, told “My father and I are delighted to have extended both Mikel’s and Jonas’ contracts. It provides stability and clarity for the future and helps us all move forward together effectively.

“Mikel’s commitment and passion are clear for everyone to see. We are confident that as we move forward, he will get us back to competing for the top trophies in the game.

“Turning to Jonas, he has had a fantastic start to his career in England. He has done a terrific job with the team, and we are in contention for the title on the last weekend. We are confident that he will continue to take us forward in the years ahead.”

The pair signed their deals in the directors’ box at The Emirates in front of chief executive Vinai Venkatesham, technical director Edu Gaspar and head of women’s football Clare Wheatley.

“I think the timing is perfect,” Edu said. “I really believe the message will be a big lift to everyone. To the fans, to the club, to the players, to Mikel.

“It’s important to show everyone where we want to go as a club. We are going to face a big summer again and it’s important to have our manager here.”

Arteta deal potentially premature?

There can be no real argument that Mikel Arteta deserves a new deal with Arsenal, but have the Gunners gone a little too early?

The club have made a big statement about being back in the Champions League but they are not quite there yet, with Tottenham still breathing down their necks.

This weekend could be a huge one in that battle for fourth. Arsenal will expect to beat struggling Leeds at The Emirates, while Spurs have to head to Liverpool – a ground where they nearly always suffer defeat.

That could open up a five-point gap ahead of the crunch game next week with just three games to go.

But if results don’t go their way, and Tottenham actually take fourth spot then the club’s plans go out of the window, to a certain extent.

To that end, the next couple of weeks are going to be huge – for Arsenal and Arteta

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