Pep Guardiola has no doubts that Mikel Arteta will become a manager and has discussed the Manchester City assistant’s credentials amid reports linking him with Arsenal.
Former Everton and Arsenal midfielder Arteta has worked alongside Guardiola at the Premier League champions for the past three seasons, being part of the coaching staff that has delivered back-to-back league titles and English football’s first ever domestic treble.
Many have tipped the 37-year-old to make the step-up to senior management in the near future, with Arteta again being linked with the managerial position at the Emirates as the pressure continues to mount on Unai Emery.
Arteta was first linked with the position as a potential successor for Arsene Wenger in 2018, and the club’s former captain is again being speculated as a candidate should the Arsenal hierarchy lose patience with the former PSG boss.
Guardiola refused to comment about the Gunners current situation but has backed Arteta for success once he eventually moves into a management role thanks to his playing career in central midfield, praising the Spaniard’s contribution during his time at the Etihad.
“Unai Emery is the manager of Arsenal,” said Guardiola. “[But] of course [Arteta] will be a manager sooner or later. We are going to finish the season but in the future I don’t know what is going to happen.
“I would like him to stay with us. Manchester City has a person of incredible value to work here in the future. But professional desires are professional desires. Everyone is more than satisfied to have him here.
“He was an incredible player. The holding midfielder has a vision of what happens on the pitch. When you are a striker you think of the goals and ‘keepers to save it.
“But I think that the holding midfielder is an incredible lesson during your period as a football player. You don’t need to go to school.
“More than that he is an incredible human being and works a lot. I said after a few months together he would be a manager. He is already a manager – he behaves like a manager.”