LONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 19 – Per Mertesacker has praised former Arsenal teammate Mikel Arteta and admitted that he would enjoy having him back at the Gunners.
The former Gunners defender, who now runs the club’s academy, played alongside Arteta for five years at the Emirates Stadium after they both arrived in the summer of 2011.
Arteta then retired in 2016 and left to join Manchester City, working as Pep Guardiola’s assistant and playing a key role in the club’s back-to-back Premier League triumphs.
He was also touted as a candidate to succeed Arsene Wenger in North London in 2018 and, with pressure upon Unai Emery rising, has been mentioned as a candidate to be the next manager at the Emirates Stadium.
Mertesacker has now thrown his weight behind Arteta, praising his former colleague colleague and admitting he would love to work alongside him in the future.
“I was his vice-captain at Arsenal and he trusted me. I was by his side during team meetings and we had a great bond. I’d love to work with him again, a top guy,” he told FourFourTwo.
Mertesacker also praised former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who was appointed last week as the new Head of Football Development at Fifa.
“He has an aura – it’s difficult to explain. He demands a lot, but makes you feel comfortable, too. It’s about trust. In hard times, he was a rock protecting us. I’ll always be very grateful to him.”