Mikel Arteta’s relationship with Arsenal bosses clear after summer transfer U-turn

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During Arsene Wenger's time in the Arsenal dugout, his thoughts on relinquishing any of the control around transfers and contract decisions were clear.

"I'm manager of Arsenal and as long as I am manager I will decide what happens on the technical front. That's it," he said when the discussion of a Director of Football was raised.

Since the legendary Frenchman's retirement, the Gunners have changed tact, employing additional help for their head coaches, with an eye on increased stability.

Former midfielder Edu is the latest to take up that role, after he was named as technical director back in the summer of 2019.

Edu was employed as Arsenal's technical director in 2019

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The long-term aim of such a position is so that if a manager departs the club, the infrastructure is still in place for any replacement.

It looked like that stability could be required when Mikel Arteta looked more than likely to lose his position as Arsenal manager.

In the midst of their worst start for almost half a century, many expected the Spaniard to go the same way of his compatriot Unai Emery.

Alas, Arteta has managed to turn the club's form around on the pitch, with work being done to continue their progression off it.

The Athletic report that Arsenal have agreed terms with Rob Holding over a new long-term deal at the Emirates.

Rob Holding is believed to have signed a new long-term deal at the Emirates
(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

It's reward for the 25-year-old's drastic improvement under Arteta and a nod to the influence the head coach still has over a number of key personnel decisions in north London.

Holding was widely expected to leave the Gunners in the summer window, with a number of Premier League clubs linked with a transfer move.

Newcastle United were believed to be close to finalising a deal for the central defender, with many behind the scenes willing to let him leave.

Arteta had other ideas however, personally intervening in any such discussions, before opening one-on-one talks with the player himself.

“When you compare how he has evolved from there to now, in a year’s time, it is incredible," he said last week.

Can Arsenal finish in the top-four this season? Have your say here.

Mikel Arteta intervened in the plan to allow Rob Holding to leave in the summer
(Image: REUTERS)

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“It is down to him, how professional he is, how much he wants to learn, how much he puts into every training session and then his character and his personality.

“He is growing in every aspect. I am really happy with him. It is true that in the summer he came to me because we had a large amount of central defenders and he was not sure about how many minutes he was going to have.

“But we stopped him going anywhere because we knew he was going to be an important player for us.”

Holding's emergence as one of the leaders in Arteta's fledgling squad of youngsters is a great success story for not only the player, but a clear example of how much trust those in charge still have in the manager.

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