Arteta hints at Arsenal contract extension despite limited influence

The Gunners midfielder has made just 12 senior appearances for the club in 2014-15 but says there will be an announcement on his future after the FA Cup final


Mikel Arteta insists that he intends to remain at Arsenal despite the emergence of Francis Coquelin and his limited game-time at the Emirates Stadium.

Arteta, the Gunners’ captain heading into Saturday’s FA Cup final against Aston Villa, has made just 12 senior appearances for the club in 2014-15, with injuries limiting his influence on the team.

The Spaniard last appeared for Arsenal in the Premier League in the 2-1 loss to Manchester United on November 22 and says that he has enjoyed having an “input from outside” despite his troubles.

And the 33-year-old has hinted that he is set to sign a contract extension after this weekend’s clash with Aston Villa.

“I will discuss my future after the final, it’s been a strange season for me since November, with my injury,” he told reporters at the club’s London Colney training headquarters.

“I had some really tough times. But I have learned a lot. My aim is to be on the pitch as much as I can.

“I would love to stay. The indication is we are both very clear on what we want and we will announce something after the final.”

Coquelin has enjoyed a stunning rise since he returned from his loan spell at Charlton Athletic in December, with Arteta full of praise for his young team-mate.

“I think it was probably the nicest surprise of the season because he had to go on loan and I don’t think he was really happy to do that,” he added.

“But he put a really good impact to it, the way he adapted to the game and the way he gave something to the team that we were missing. He was great, he’s given balance, he has competed as well as anybody else in the team, and he’s been really consistent. He will be here for a good few years.

“I’ve always liked Francis and I like him a lot now.”

Aaron Ramsey has previously outlined his desire to see Arsenal win the Premier League title next season and Arteta echoed the Welshman’s sentiments, though he says that investment this summer is necessary as the club “missed something” in 2014-15.

“We want to push and win the Premier League, that’s for sure, and it’s up to the manager and board to decide what’s the missing ingredient,” he said.

“There’s something we missed, whether it’s that we didn’t have the full squad ready for the biggest part of the season, with a lot of players out, whether we were missing that final bit of quality to win it or deepness in the squad, I don’t know what it is, it’s up to them to analyse that.

“Everybody’s up for it and I’m sure they are as well.”