Had things gone differently, Mikel Arteta could be Newcastle United manager right now.
The Manchester City assistant was linked with the Toon job, but was reportedly put off by Rafa Benitez. It would have been Arteta’s first job in management, but he instead decided to stay with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.
Almost six months on, the Spaniard could be set for his first solo role. Arteta is set to replace Unai Emery as Arsenal manager, tasked with fixing a huge mess at the Emirates.
According to BBC Sport, Arsenal are set to announce Arteta’s arrival, but he’ll be in the stands for the Gunners’ next game against Everton.
It’s a massive job for the 37-year-old, whose first job in management will be one of the biggest clubs in England.
Newcastle were unable to convince Arteta to head to St James’ Park this summer, instead having to settle for Steve Bruce. There were multiple managers linked with the job before Bruce got it, showing how reluctant some people are to work under Mike Ashley.
The Rafa Benitez saga hurt a lot of fans, and it also hindered Newcastle’s future prospects. While Bruce is doing alright, you’d have struggled to find many fans who wanted him this summer.
If Arteta is a success at Arsenal, the Newcastle hierarchy will be wondering what might have been.