Mikel Arteta: Arsenal boss grateful for early-career support from Mauricio Pochettino20 October 2023
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hailed the influence of Chelsea counterpart Mauricio Pochettino during the early days of his playing career.
Arteta joined Paris St-Germain on-loan in 2001-02 when Pochettino was playing for the French giants as a centre-back.
The pair will face off in the Premier League on Saturday when Arsenal host Chelsea at 17:30 BST.
"He has been one of the most influential people in my career as a player," Arteta said.
"He took me under his wing and he looked after me like a little child. A little brother. He was a big part of the success I had in Paris.
"He has been a role model for me since that day, not only as a player but as a manager as well. He had a big say on that and I will always be grateful for what he has done for me."
Arteta, 41, is ten years the junior of Pochettino and only stepped into management in 2019 when he took charge of Arsenal after spending time at Manchester City as Pep Guardiola's assistant.
Pochettino, meanwhile, took up his first managerial post in 2009 with Espanyol and has also managed Southampton, Tottenham and Paris St-Germain.
Arsenal are yet to lose in the Premier League this term and sit second behind north London rivals Tottenham on goals scored as they prepare for the visit of Chelsea, who have won just three of their opening eight games and lie 11th.
Arteta confirmed that forward Bukayo Saka, who has scored four goals in the league this campaign, is available despite sitting out of the 1-0 win over Manchester City in Arsenal's last outing and then withdrawing from England duty due to a hamstring issue.
"I'm sure he wants to play, yes. I don't see any player who doesn't want to be in the starting 11," Arteta said.
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