Over the past 12 months, it’s seemed incredibly likely that Mikel Arteta won’t be a regular fixture in the Arsenal midfield ever again.

Clearly a player who thinks deeply about the game, Arteta is a leader on the training ground and in the dressing room so it should come as no shock that he is preparing for life after his playing days by stepping up his prowess as a coach.

This week, while trying to shake off an ankle injury that kept him out of Wednesday’s game against Bayern Munich, the Spaniard donned a tracksuit and whistle to take a training session at the Wales FA.

Arteta has managed just two starts this season and his contract at Arsenal is up in the summer, his next step is definitely already in his mind. Arsène Wenger recently spoke about the qualities his captain has that could take him into management, and it’s looking likely he’ll try to follow that path.

The current Arsenal boss doesn’t look like hanging up his matchday suit too soon, but Arteta may be preparing to don his. Do a few years in Arsène’s dugout beckon as Arteta learns more about his next role in the game and, possibly, at Arsenal?

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil