Arsenal: Arteta ‘best man’ to replace Guardiola at Man City for these three reasons

Jason Soutar
Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola hug before Man City vs Arsenal
Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola hug before Man City vs Arsenal

Nobody is better suited to replace Pep Guardiola at Manchester City than Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, according to Danny Mills.

Guardiola is expected to leave the Citizens when his contract expires after the 2024/25 campaign, admitting last month that he is “closer to leaving” than he is signing a new deal.

His exit could come sooner if Man City are found guilty of the 115 charges against them, with expulsion from the Premier League reportedly a realistic outcome.

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso is one of the names the City hierarchy have reportedly shortlisted ahead of the Spaniard’s likely departure, though they would prefer to keep their current – and ridiculously successful – manager.

Having coached at the Etihad before taking over as Arsenal boss in December 2019, Arteta has been linked with the City job in the past.

It feels unlikely that he would leave the Gunners project for another Premier League club but if he goes another season without winning a trophy, you can hardly rule out a move back to Manchester.

He is one of the highest-rated managers in Europe and most importantly, Knows The Club, meaning he would be “the best man” to succeed Guardiola, according to former England defender Mills.

“Mikel Arteta is the best man to replace Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, without a shadow of a doubt,” Mills said. “He’s worked with Pep, he knows the way City play and he can come in with the same level of intensity as him.

“I think it will be a concern. It’s like trying to replace Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson.

“The hierarchy at City have to be looking for a successor now and I’m sure they are. There are lots of coaches winning in the City Group for instance.

“It’s a concern for City but when you look at what they’ve done in the past, the senior figures they’ve brought in to manage the academy and recruitment, you have to put faith in them and hope that there is a good succession plan.”

Arsenal have fallen short of Man City for the last two Premier League seasons, earning consecutive second-place finishes.

Arteta’s contract at the Emirates also happens to expire next summer, though he is in talks over a new deal and is reportedly eager to agree fresh terms in north London.

Gunners fans can comfortably ignore any links to Man City as journalist Ben Jacobs has previously said he is not considering an Etihad return when Guardiola leaves.

“I’m told that Arteta has already given a verbal indication to the Arsenal hierarchy that he wants to extend,” Jacobs said.

“There may be a worry for some Arsenal fans, what if Pep Guardiola leaves at the end of this forthcoming season, would he go back to Manchester City? I’m told that’s a categorical no, that Arteta now won’t manage at another Premier League club.”

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