Mikel Arteta is headed back to the field in a new role…
The 34-year-old retired Spanish professional footballer, a former captain for the Arsenal Football Club, is joining Pep Guardiola‘s coaching staff at the Manchester City Football Club.
The midfielder’s contract with Arsenal expired on June 30 after a five-year stint at the club, and he had already stated that he expected to take up a coaching role next season.
His move to Manchester City had been widely expected, with Guardiola keen on making him part of the new backroom staff at the Etihad as the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach prepares for his first season in the Premier League.
“The opportunity to join Pep Guardiola and his team was an amazing opportunity for me and I am incredibly excited for the future,” Arteta wrote in a statement he posted on social media.
Arteta captained Arsenal over the last two seasons but struggled with injuries over the last year and was rarely part of Arsene Wenger‘s first-team squad.
He came on as a late substitute for a farewell appearance in the final game of the Premier League season in May and was given a rousing send-off by the Emirates crowd.
He leaves the club having won two Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) titles, and also spent the last couple of years working on his coaching badges at Arsenal as he prepared for life after his playing career.
“Throughout my career I have always been interested in more than just the playing side and have had a passion for helping progress and develop the team outside of just my own role as a player,” Arteta said.
“Coaching has always been something I’ve been keen to go in to and over the past few years I’ve worked hard off the pitch as well as on it to develop my skills in order to put me in a position to be able to pursue a coaching role once I finished playing.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play under some amazing coaches and managers during my playing career and I hope to use elements of everything I’ve learnt from them as well as experience from my own playing career to help City achieve success.”