As Arsenal continue their Premier League title challenge under Mikel Arteta, first-team stars including Granit Xhaka and Oleksandr Zinchenko are grooming potential futures in coaching.
Five members of Arsenal’s title-chasing squad are preparing to follow manager Mikel Arteta as coach, with four of the stars recently completing their UEFA B licences.
Arteta, who is one of the youngest managers in the Premier League, started picking up the badge himself before he turned 30. He was just 37 when he landed the permanent job at Arsenal and has turned the Gunners into title contenders in three years. many years.
Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, Cedric Soares and Rob Holding have all earned their B licences, paving the way for coaching or, ultimately, management. Oleksandr Zinchenko completes the quintet, having resumed coaching with Ukraine.
“Some of them came to me after working together and they felt like starting to do it,” Arteta said, as reported by the Mail. “It [taking the coaching badge] focuses me more, I enjoy playing more and all the training and preparation process.”
Arteta had begun his coaching preparations long before playing his last Arsenal game of the 2015-16 season. He spent time on Manchester City’s coaching staff before returning to north London, and took charge of his 150th game in all competitions this season.
Xhaka has revealed he has been working with Arsenal’s Under-16s, with one of the youngsters – 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri – making his senior first-team debut this term. “He looks old when I see him, but the club can be proud of a player like him,” said the Switzerland international.
“Mikel Arteta, I learned a lot from him,” Elneny, one of the group’s older members, told PFA in a recording released in early December. “The players and coaches now, the things they give us and the understanding… made me understand football more.
“Now when I make the badge it’s very easy because I have all the knowledge inside me. The way I will give the boys, I really enjoy working under Mikel because the knowledge of football is great and the simplicity [which] what he gave us was amazing..
“He has been working with us for three years now, and the way he gives you details about football, the way they understand the teams we are going to play for, and the way you understand football from his thoughts, is just incredible. raise my hand because that is pure genius.”
While Arsenal’s players plan for the future, they also have the present to deal with. Arteta’s side continued their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham on Boxing Day, sitting five points clear at the top of the table before kick-off.