What happened to Mikel Arteta replacement Arsenal chiefs 'were considering' appointing

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal were considering dismissing Mikel Arteta back in 2020 -Credit:Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Back in late 2020, a year after Mikel Arteta took the helm at Arsenal, rumours of potential dismissal were making the rounds at the Emirates.

Despite leading the Gunners to FA Cup glory just four months earlier and navigating the challenges posed by Covid on the Premier League, some sections of the fanbase were growing impatient with Arteta's 'project' and rumours began to circulate that the Spaniard could be shown the door. Critics argued that Arteta's lack of experience was becoming evident.

Following a particularly disappointing home defeat to Wolves, the Arsenal manager stated he was well aware that failure to improve results would likely lead to his sacking. Reports suggested that the top brass at the Gunners were also bracing for a scenario where Arteta might lose his job.

Italian outlet Stadio Sport reported that Arsenal had earmarked a potential successor should results continue to decline. The man in question was none other than ex-Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.

The Italian had a single-season stint with the Blues, during which he clinched the Europa League title, defeating none other than the Gunners 4-1 in the final in Baku. Arteta, of course, managed to turn his Arsenal tenure around in a dramatic fashion.

Despite not adding any more major trophies to his collection since that FA Cup victory, the 42-year-old has transformed the Gunners into a team that could realistically clinch the Premier League title - though those hopes took a significant blow on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Sarri has already been associated with two different clubs since those rumours of him taking over at Arsenal four years ago. The 65-year-old left Chelsea in 2019 and took over at Italian heavyweights Juventus in the same year.

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He led the 'Old Lady' to the Serie A title, marking Sarri's first major trophy in Italian football. However, underwhelming performances in the Champions League led to the Juventus board deciding against keeping him and he was sacked just 14 months after his appointment.

One year out of elite-level football soon followed before Sarri decided to return to management and take the helm at another Serie A powerhouse, Lazio. His departure from the Champions League this season at the hands of Bayern Munich led to his resignation from his role nearly three years after he arrived at the Stadio Olimpico.