Spaniard aware of Gunners ‘over 30’ policy.
Veteran Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has vowed to stay and fight to keep his place in the Gunners starting line up next season even though he is aware of Arsene Wenger’s thought on players over 30, Goal.com reports.
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The 32-year-old has just one more year to run on his current deal at the Emirates and is eager to stay beyond the end of that next summer, but admits it may be difficult to convince Arsene Wenger to keep hold of him.
However, Arteta has confessed that though he doesn’t necessarily agree with that policy he would be the first to step aside should he ever feel like he couldn’t compete at the top level any longer.
“I don’t know what is going to happen,” he said of his future.
“With players over 30 they have a policy and I don’t know if they plan to change it or maintain it. Depending on what their mind is, I will give them my opinion and how I see it.
“Yes, [we’ll talk] this summer and see what they want to do. I’m relaxed because I am only going to stay here or wherever if they really want me to stay and I feel productive.
“The day I don’t feel productive, the day I feel like I can’t perform, I will be the first one to say: ‘Listen, you have kids here of 25 much better than me; it’s my time to move on.’ They are not going to have a problem with me.
“I don’t value players by age, whether it is Tomas Rosicky or Jack Wilshere. I analyse many other things before age. For me, a much bigger asset is someone who has played over 125 games in three years compared to someone who has played 25 and is 20.
“I understand the club’s point of view – ‘Mikel is not a £25 million player because he is not 22 any more’ – but I know what I can give so it is to find the right balance. It is something that we need to analyse and talk about.”
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