Darren Bent would like to see Mikel Arteta stay in charge of Arsenal next season regardless of how they do during the rest of the season.
The Spaniard’s time at the Emirates Stadium has been full of highs and lows with the Gunners winning the FA Cup in his first six months in charge.
It was disappointing first full season in charge at Arsenal for Arteta as they finished eighth in the Premier League, missing out on qualification for Europe.
However, six new signings last summer helped Arteta remould his squad for this season and they are now favourites to finish fourth and secure Champions League football for next term.
Arsenal – who beat West Ham 2-1 on Sunday – are currently two points ahead of Tottenham with four games left of the season, including a north London derby, which could go a long way to deciding who will finish fourth.
Despite that, there are still a number of doubters among the Arsenal fanbase that Arteta is the right man to lead the club forward in the long term, but Bent thinks they should keep the faith.
Bent said on talkSPORT: “There are still a lot of Arsenal fans who are unsure about Mikel Arteta being in charge of Arsenal Football Club.
“They still think, come the end of the season, regardless of whether Arsenal are in the Champions League or not, he should not be the manager to take them forward.
“I completely disagree. I think he is the right manager to take them forward. He’s earned the right to move into next season, certainly if Arsenal are in the Champions League.”
Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell claims that Nicolas Pepe, who has been linked with a move away from the club in recent weeks, doesn’t have a future at the Emirates Stadium.
Campbell told Football Insider: “Arsenal paid over the odds for him.
“It has just not worked out. It is that simple. He is a talented player, that’s for sure. But it has not worked out for him.
“You see the intensity and focus that Mikel Arteta wants the team to play with. I don’t think Pepe fits into that. He is a drifter. He will concentrate for a bit and then drift out again.
“I said just before Christmas it was a big few months coming up for Pepe. It was going to determine whether or not he had a future at Arsenal. Well, he doesn’t have a future at Arsenal.”
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