Arteta can make Arsenal a title contender again, says Guardiola

Pep Guardiola feels Arsenal can challenge for major honours if Mikel Arteta gets the players he wants in the transfer window.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta left his role as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City to become the Arsenal manager in December last year.   -  AP Photo

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes Arsenal is creating “something special” under Mikel Arteta and the north London side can challenge for major honours if his former assistant is backed in the transfer window.

Arteta left his role as City's assistant coach to replace fellow Spaniard Unai Emery as Arsenal manager shortly before Christmas, and has since overseen an improvement in playing style as the side chases Europa League qualification.

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Following Arsenal's midweek victory over champion Liverpool, Arteta suggested he will need financial backing in the transfer window to get Arsenal closer to the top teams next season.

“I see from the side how they celebrate goals, how they fight for every ball. They have begun to create something special for the club,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.

“Arsenal were one of the elite clubs in English football for the last 20, 30 years. I am pretty sure (Arteta is) the right person to take them back to the position they were. When the club supports him there is no better person to do the job than Mikel,” he added.

He continued, “I have the feeling he is creating something unique. If he can be supported by the club with investment, get the players they need, they can be contenders for the next years.”

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City, which lifted the League Cup earlier this season, can finish the campaign with three trophies, and next on its agenda is the FA Cup semifinal against Arsenal on Saturday.

Guardiola said Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who usually deputises for first-choice Ederson in domestic cup competitions, will miss the weekend's clash due to an injury.

“We are playing Ederson,” Guardiola added. “Claudio is a little bit injured. In the last few days he was not on the bench. He has muscular problems and can't play tomorrow.”

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