Mikel Arteta has lavished praise on Arsenal legend and Crystal Palace manager, Patrick Vieira, as he returns to the club as an opposition manager.
Both former Arsenal stars will be in the opposite dugout as Arsenal hosts Palace next Monday.
Vieira is developing his career in management, but he had a distinguished playing career and spent much of it with Arsenal.
Between 1996 and 2005, he won tackles on the pitch and trophies for the cabinet for the Gunners and helped them to win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and three FA Community Shields.
Arteta concedes he would not have liked to face the Frenchman during his playing days because ‘He was very dominant’ and ‘physically really gifted’
He hopes the 1998 World Cup winner will get the reception he deserves from the Arsenal fans when he returns to the club on Monday with his Palace team.
Arteta says there have been midfielders before and after Vieira, but there would never be another him.
Asked if he would love to have played against him, Arteta said, as quoted by The Daily Mail: ‘No!
‘He was very dominant. He was physically really gifted, technically too, he had the right temper, he was brave and he could score goals. He could do a bit of everything and he was remarkable.
‘He is an Arsenal legend and I hope he gets the reception he deserves for what he did for the club, not only as a player but also what he transmitted as a person. He was a captain of the club in the most successful era in the last many years and it is great to have him back.
‘To have him back and to welcome him and having his figure [back] and what he’s been at the club. Recognising him the right manner, I think it’s really important and I’m sure that that will be the case.
‘There have been some really good midfielders and Patrick was Patrick. There’s not going to be another one like him.’