Mikel Arteta pays classy tribute to Arsene Wenger after being named new Arsenal manager.
New Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta has acknowledged the role that Arsene Wenger played in him becoming the club’s manager today.
The former Everton midfielder was signed by Wenger eight years ago and he helped the Gunners win back to back FA Cups before he retired three years ago.
He has gone on to develop his managerial skills at Manchester City where they have won the last two Premier League titles among other trophies.
Arteta claims that Wenger’s legacy made it possible for him to be the club’s manager today as the Frenchman had set the ground running for him to be considered good enough to play for and later manage the club.
‘Well, when I was playing in England I started to realise what Arsenal meant,’ said Arteta via Arsenal.com.
‘Obviously I was born in Barcelona and the club which had the most similar style and most similar values and ambition, it was Arsenal. ‘I always talked to the people around me that I had a dream and it was to play for this football club. ‘There was one man and his name was Arsene Wenger who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play for this club. ‘And after that he made me captain of this football club and I wouldn’t be sitting here if he didn’t have the vision to give me the opportunity to enjoy this incredible football club.’
Arteta was also close to becoming Arsenal’s manager last year before they chose Unai Emery, he insists that now is the right time for him to be the club’s manager.
‘A little bit close,’ Arteta added when asked how near he came to fill the void created by Wenger’s departure.
‘It wasn’t the right time. The right time came now. I’m glad I learned a lot from that experience. ‘It was great to be part of the process. I was very prepared for this one and it helped.’