Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has offered his backing to Mikel Arteta, as the Spaniard looks poised to be announced as the new manager of Arsenal.
The former Gunners and Everton star emerged as the surprise favourite this week to succeed Arsene Wenger at the Emirates this week, after the veteran Frenchman ended his 22-year-reign as manager of the London giants at the close of the Premier League season.
Fans of Arsenal are likely to react with mixed emotions towards the appointment of Arteta if it ends up taking place over the next 48 hours as is expected. The 36-year-old, while spending the last two years as assistant under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, does not have any managerial experience at senior level and as a result, he could be a high-risk choice.
Lampard, however, believes that Arteta is ready for the challenge. “It is always encouraging to see a club give a young, up-and-coming coach a chance and Arteta has got what it takes to do a fine job,” he wrote in his Evening Standard column this week.
“Some will question his experience but he knows Arsenal very well from his time there as a player, while he is an intelligent man with a huge interest in tactics. He has worked under Pep Guardiola as his assistant for the last two years and that cannot be underestimated. He will have learnt so much.”
Many high-profile managers were linked with the position, including Juventus boss Max Allegri, who rejected the opportunity in order to continue working with the Serie A side.