Mikel Arteta is Arsenal's number one choice to become next manager

Arsenal are reportedly closing in on a deal to appoint current Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta to replace Unai Emery.

The former Gunners midfielder has long been linked with the job and was the heavy favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger back in the summer of 2018.

Emery’s appointment caught everyone by surprise, but after less than two years Arteta is once again in pole-position to finally land the gig.

David Ornstein reports for The Athletic that the Spaniard is Arsenal’s number one choice for the role.

He states that some sources believe a deal is so close that it only need Arteta’s seal of approval to set the wheels in motion.

Others believe that the 37-year-old still need to go through the interview process.

Should Arsenal land their number one target, it would represent a massive risk by the Arsenal board, with the club still in the midst of a crisis despite last night’s 3-1 win away at West Ham.

Players have been underperforming for far too long and the atmosphere behind-the-scenes appears to be far from rosy.

Is it wise to throw an untested manager into such a hostile atmosphere at one of the world’s biggest clubs? Probably not.

However, some will say that it’s the best test of Arteta’s ability in the managerial world.

If he can turn this Arsenal side around, then he must be a genius, right?

Should he get the job, Arteta would be boosted by his positive relationship with the fans and his knowledge of how the club operates.

He will also be focused on implementing an attacking, aesthetically-pleasing style of play, something which Emery was unable and unwilling to do.

Arteta succeeding at Arsenal certainly wouldn’t be a ‘shock’, but there’s no denying that his appointment brings with it great risk.

But doesn’t the old saying go; high risk, high reward?

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