Martin Keown slams Arsenal’s timing of decision to extend Mikel Arteta’s contract

Mikel Arteta's stay at Arsenal has been extended

Mikel Arteta’s stay at Arsenal has been extended (Image: Getty Images)

Arsenal legend Martin Keown has criticized the timing of the north London club’s decision to extend Mikel Arteta’s contract.

The Gunners announced on Friday that Arteta has penned a deal that will keep him at Emirates Stadium until 2025.

The team’s form has been patchy lately, losing three games on spin and then winning the last three.

Martin Keown believes the decision is right, but not quite the timing

Martin Keown believes the decision is right but not quite the timing (Picture: Getty Images)

But those victories have seen Arsenal move into the driver’s seat in the race for the top four with four games left this season.

With another crunch match against Leeds United on Sunday, Keown suggested the summer might have been a more opportune time to extend Arteta’s contract.

“They just lost three games and won three games. I thought they might have waited until the summer because now we’re at a crossroads and there’s a big game coming up,” Keown told talkSPORT.

“They obviously feel like there’s no desire to change, they’re happy. I think they are right.

“I probably would have waited until the summer.

“Maybe there was a call for the manager from other clubs, we don’t know what’s happening internally, they wanted to meet his needs and saw no reason for any kind of change.

“We could have seen a very different situation if they hadn’t beat Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham all in one week.

“If they had announced it after losing those games, maybe it would have been a different situation.

“I think it’s good for the players to bring the man in and settle in place. The person responsible must be looked after and resolved.

“It feels like the beginning of the journey.”

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Arsenal FC Martin Keown slams Arsenal's timing of decision to extend Mikel Arteta's contract

Nate Jones

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