Jurgen Klopp believes Mikel Arteta is part of a ‘very exciting new coaching generation’ and has backed the Spaniard to turn Arsenal back into ‘challengers’ for major honours.
Premier League champions Liverpool travel to face Arsenal at the Emirates this evening as they continue their pursuit of the league’s all-time points record, and will face a Gunners side in transition following the appointment of Arteta as their new head coach in December.
Klopp has kept a close eye on the progress of the north London side since Arteta’s arrival in his first position as a manager, the 38-year-old having previously spent three seasons working alongside Pep Guardiola on the coaching staff at Manchester City.
The German believes that Arteta is amongst a collection of emerging coaches and believes working alongside Guardiola has influenced his style, admitting that he thinks Arsenal are heading in the right direction when asked if the club can become challengers in the near future.
“Unfortunately, probably yes!” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference. “It looks very much so.
“Mikel is part of this very exciting new coaching generation, or manager generation. Really exciting to watch; you can see the ideas behind obviously, influenced by Pep [Guardiola], he worked together with him. Probably they had the same idea already before, when Mikel was still a player. Yes, you can see a massive influence of him.
“On top of that, obviously at Arsenal [there is] a really exciting squad, all the different offensive [players]. They have more experienced offensive players with massive quality, and then coming up a lot of really, really good ones.
“So, yes, it looks like Arsenal will be a proper challenger again.”