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‘Like a professor’ – Mustafi discusses working with ‘special’ Arteta

Shkodran Mustafi has likened Mikel Arteta to a ‘professor’ and believes he has developed as a player since the Spaniard’s arrival at Arsenal.

Arteta was appointed as the successor to the sacked Unai Emery in December, with the north London side having shown steady progress under his guidance, Arsenal registering an eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League prior to the suspension of football amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mustafi has been impressed by the impact Arteta has made during his first senior coaching role, and believes the club are set for a brighter future under the guidance of the 38-year-old.

“He’s a little like a professor,” Mustafi told Sky Sports.

“He knows exactly where he wants the players to be when on the ball and how to react when losing the ball. It’s very special.

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“When I pass I am usually only focused on where to be if we lose the ball but he wants me to contribute offensively too. So we constantly need to make an option for the player on the ball.

“When you are 28 and you play in different countries with other coaches you think you know everything but then he came in and there are things I’ve never known before.”

One player who has benefitted from Arteta’s appointment in particular has been the previously marginalised Mesut Ozil, and Mustafi has hailed his manager’s ability to quickly unite the entire dressing room at the Emirates.

“Sometimes we don’t realise what a difficult job it is,” he added. “From 25 players maybe 20 agree with the coach and five still think we should play different.

“Since Mikel has come in he has 25 players on board and this is not easy to achieve.

“Everyone understands and everything he says makes sense. There is nothing we can complain about. Everyone has benefited, even Mesut.”

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See also – Moments that made the Premier League: Wenger stays silent as a football dynasty is founded

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