If a report from ESPN FC is to be believed, former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta is among the candidates for the vacant manager position at Goodison Park. “Sources close to the club” have told ESPN FC that the Spaniard is on Everton’s shortlist after firing Ronald Koeman this week.
Arteta currently works as an assistant coach at Manchester City, working under Pep Guardiola for the league leaders. He joined City and Guardiola in July 2016, his first coaching job after his retirement following the 2015-16 season.
Arteta first came to Everton in January 2005 on loan from Real Sociedad, helping the Toffees to a fourth-place finish and a Champions League berth (subsequently squandered in the qualifying round against Villarreal). Everton signed him on a permanent deal ahead of the 2005-06 season.
The 35-year-old served as a central, creative midfielder for the club until his departure for Arsenal ahead of the 2011-12 season. Arteta won the FA Cup with the Gunners in 2013-14, his last meaningful season with the club before injury and old age started to catch up with him. He retired an Arsenal player after the 2015-16 season.
Arteta certainly knows Everton well, and spent some of the best years of his career at Goodison Park. He’s learning valuable coaching skills from Guardiola, one of the best in the game, but a move to Merseyside at this stage would still be a bit of a gamble.
He has no experience as a manager, and not even two full years as an assistant coach. It’s difficult to project what kind of manager he would be, simply because there’s no body of work on which to base guesses on.
In the future, Arteta might be an excellent manager and someone Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright should consider having on board. However, this vacancy has probably come a little too soon for a move for Arteta to make sense.