Speculation is growing that Girona are set to appoint Mikel Arteta as their new head coach.
The Catalan side enjoyed an excellent debut season in La Liga in 2017-18, eventually finishing in 10th place, after putting up a challenge for a Europa League spot.
However despite their excellent progress this season, manager Pablo Machin has been lured away to take over the vacant manager’s role at Sevilla, leaving Girona on the hunt for a new boss.
Arteta, who was heavily linked with taking over as manager of former club Arsenal, before Unai Emery was given the job, looks ready to take on his first role in management.
The Basque native has operated as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City for the past two seasons, but there have been rumours that wants to go out on his own in management.
As well as learning from Guardiola, Arteta has also built a strong reputation as a student of the game, passing his UEFA coaching badges with flying colours, and playing a key role behind the scenes in City’s dominance.
His success as a player, at Real Sociedad, Everton and Arsenal, also provides him with a profile, that can be crucial in garnering respect and getting a message across.
City, and Arteta, have also established a relationship with Girona this season, both on and off the pitch.
The City Football Group bought a 44% stake in the club at the beginning of the season, and loaned Aleix Garcia Serrano and Pablo Maffeo to their new partners, alongside former Stoke City man Marc Muniesa.
The similarities between Machin and Arteta are clear, both young and hungry to make an impact, with the main difference being the former has been given an opportunity to cut his teeth as a manager.
In three and a half seasons he secured promotion from the Segunda, and relative stability in La Liga – Arteta will need to follow that blue print.
Of course Arteta will lookt to put his own stamp on the side, but realistically, in the early stages of his management career, and the embryonic state of Girona in the top flight, he needs to stick with the principles that have served them well this season.
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