Mikel Arteta’s assistant manager Steve Round has departed the club by mutual consent, in what has been a busy summer period for Arsenal.
Round joined Arsenal alongside Arteta when the Spaniard returned to the club as manager in 2019, and has been his right-hand man throughout his coaching career.
The 52-year-old has extensive experience as an assistant, having also been on the bench at Everton and Manchester United under David Moyes, among other clubs.
Charles Watts initially revealed the news, and the mutual decision may indicate that Arteta is ready to upgrade his backroom team, whilst Round may be interested in a move elsewhere.
Given that Arteta’s entire management career has seen him work alongside Round, it will be interesting to see how he chooses to replace him, and this could open up space for former hero Santi Cazorla to return.
How can Arteta proceed from here?
A recent report from FourFourTwo has claimed that Arteta is keen on reuniting with Cazorla, who recently left his playing role at Al-Sadd, and the Spanish hero could return to Arsenal in a non-playing role.
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Cazorla was a fan favourite at the Emirates before a serious injury ended his career in North London, but a successful return to action with Villarreal saw the midfielder perform at the top of his game again.
It is unclear whether he is ready to retire from playing in order to take up a coaching role, and it seems unlikely that Arteta will choose someone so inexperienced to be his right-hand man.
However, an internal reshuffle could take place, with potentially one of Albert Stuivenberg or Carlos Cuesta earning promotion to a more prominent assistant role, and Cazorla could slot into the coaching team to provide assistance to this young squad.
Fans will be delighted to see Cazorla return to the club, even in a non-playing role, and Arteta may feel that his playing experience at the top level may be useful for the current players to learn from.