Pep Guardiola believes Arsenal are title contenders this season as Manchester City look to hunt down the league leaders.
Arsenal are top of the division after the club’s best ever start to a Premier League campaign, two points ahead of City ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures.
Guardiola has been impressed with the progress of the north Londoners, who have shone under the management of Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard spent time working as an assistant to Guardiola on the coaching staff at Manchester City before taking charge at Arsenal.
Guardiola believes the Gunners’ performances so far this season indicate that Arsenal are genuine title contenders.
“Mikel [Arteta] in the two years, maybe I learned more off him than he did off me when we were together,” he said at his pre-match press conference ahead of City’s clash with Brentford.
“Arsenal belongs with the talent, Mikel’s had big moments and he has support that’s unconditional.
“It was time for him to build something, Arsenal gave it to him and he’s had an incredible season so far. I know how huge competitors they are.
“The season is so long and it’s only the first leg. There’s many tough games, so we relax and see what happens.”
On whether Arsenal are contenders for the Premier League title, he said: “Compared to previous seasons yes and I thought there would be more.
“Last season they were not a contender but this season they are.”