Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta Staying at Arsenal Proves Loyalty is Top Priority to Club


Arsene Wenger has stated that among all the players that could possibly leave this summer, 33-year old Mikel Arteta and 34-year old Tomas Rosicky will not be two of the departures (via The Independent). This may seem like a silly move on Wenger’s part, given that the two rarely ever feature for Arsenal, they’re nearing the end of their careers, and they take up first team space from other potentially young, invigorating players.

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But by pretty much guaranteeing their spot on next years squad, Wenger is sending a message to all the young players on the team – Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and so on – that Arsenal is a team that will respect what you’ve given the team in the past and reward you for it. It’s a loyalty that is nonexistent in sports these days. Teams like Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea shuffle through players like a revolving door. When they get old, they move on to a lesser team. But not Arsenal.

I had advocated for the dismissal of Mikel Arteta myself, but seeing that he was going to stay actually changed my mind. He’s the captain, and his veteran leadership can be incredibly valuable to the young core of Arsenal players. I don’t think he should be captain anymore, but we’ll cross that bridge some other time.

Arteta will find it hard to get first team playing time next year. Francis Coquelin has a monopoly on that position, but that’s okay. As long as he understands his role, he can still be an invaluable member of a potentially deadly Arsenal squad.

The other man in this story is Tomas Rosicky, who I think never really gets the credit he deserves. After next year, he’ll have spent a decade at Arsenal, and to this day, I’d still pick him over Theo Walcott in a crunch situation. Rosicky doesn’t seem to wear with age and he’s even more deserving than Mikel Arteta of a place on Arsenal’s squad. Again, will he find first-team action? It’s unlikely. But I’m always in support of the Czech midfielder getting on the pitch.

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I really like what this does for the team. It offers job security to those young players and really allows them to sink their hearts into this club without second-guessing if they’ll ever have to move on – because they won’t. Obviously players come and go, but Arsene Wenger is a player’s coach, he’s going to do all he can for his players and if any of them want to stay at Arsenal for the duration of their careers – which many of them do – then seeing guys like Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky locked in for another year in their senior age, with the team starting to become a seriously formidable force, shows that Arsene Wenger still values his players when trophies are within grasp. He isn’t going to sell them off and splurge on new, young talents. Instead, he’s going to stick with his veteran leadership and respect the wishes of his players.

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Next: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain done for the year?