Santi Cazorla has backed Mikel Arteta to become a ‘great coach’ and believes his former teammate is the right man for the ‘challenge’ at Arsenal.
The Gunners’ former club captain was appointed as their new head coach last month, the Spaniard replacing the sacked Unai Emery and overseeing a difficult start so far, winning just once in his first six Premier League fixtures in charge.
Cazorla played alongside his compatriot for four seasons in north London, and despite Arsenal‘s indifferent start during the opening weeks of his reign, the Villarreal midfielder has backed Arteta as the right man to lead the club forwards.
“Yes, I believed he would become a manager in the future. Even when I was playing with him, he showed great leadership in dressing room,” the Spanish midfielder told Goal.
— Mikel Arteta (@m8arteta) January 21, 2020
“Some say it’s a gamble for Arsenal to appoint him, but I believe it’s a reasonable challenge. He also worked as a coach under Pep Guardiola.
“I believe he can become a great coach.”
Arsenal currently sit tenth in the Premier League and are a huge ten points adrift of the Champions League places following Tuesday’s draw at Chelsea, the club having suffered a decline in recent years as they undergo a transitional phase following the departure of Arsene Wenger.
Cazorla played under the Frenchman for the entirety of his six-year spell in English football, and whilst admitting it is difficult to match the longevity of the former Gunners boss, he hopes Arteta can enjoy a ‘great career’ at the club.
“It’s not easy for any manager now to be like [Arsene] Wenger or [Sir Alex] Ferguson. I can’t anticipate how long he’ll stay at Arsenal, but I believe he can also make great career at Arsenal, and he’s a proper one for Arsenal. I hope Mikel leads Arsenal well.”