Days into his reign, he got straight to work with Granit Xhaka. The Swiss was linked with a move to Hertha Berlin at the time after a turbulent few months at the club, but decided to stay with Arteta quickly making him a vital part of the side. Next came Bukayo Saka in the summer, reaching the final year of his contract, the 19-year-old admitted Arteta played a key role in his decision to extend.
The same was the case for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who, this week, signed a new three-year deal with the club, serving as a massive vote of confidence for the Spaniard and club overall. Playing a crucial role in helping multiple players realise they have futures at Arsenal, Arteta gave an insight to what he brings to the table in the negotiation phase.
“From my side, I can just show them my conviction of what we are trying to do,” he began.
“Explain why, show them the processes being put in place to achieve that and after that, try to transmit it in the best possible way so the player feels exactly what I’m trying to do.
“Then there are other big parts. For example, the part of Edu on executing all this is massive, the same with Vinai, the board, the people related to us and of course the ownership who at the end of the day have to support our decisions and they’ve been top.”
While Arteta remained quite modest about the role he plays in keeping his core players at the club, he did admit that side of management has become more important than beforehand.
Even with this, however, he insists he isn’t going into these conversations with a sense of hope, but instead one of knowing.
“Certainly in this period when the market is open [persuading players is more important],” he added.
“But yes, obviously when you have some restrictions financially with what you can and cannot do it becomes crucial that you are able to keep the core of the players you believe are vital for the success of the project.
“Then it’s the people. I don’t feel in a position – honestly – that I have to convince them. We have more than enough at this club that people really want to stay here. Sometimes what you have to explain is what you want to do with everything we have, the direction we are taking and who they are in this part of the parcel – how important they are to try to execute it.”
Upon signing his new contract, Aubameyang admitted he “signed da ting because I want to become an Arsenal legend and to maybe leave a legacy”. Crucial to the FA Cup win, with four goals in the semi-final and final, the 31-year-old is on the path to doing just that.
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In light of that admission, Arteta was asked if he had similar ambitions. Another modest answer followed but it was one that highlighted how much the 38-year-old is looking at the bigger picture when it comes to his impact on the club’s history.
“I just want to do the best possible job to get this club winning titles as frequently as we can, transmitting the values we believe are right for the football club, creating a very clear identity and a very sustainable model,” he explained.
“So this can be sustained with or without me for years as well, and players really feel attached to what this club means to our people.”