Pep Guardiola expects Mikel Arteta to “do an excellent job” as Arsenal’s new manager.
Arsenal announced former Gunners player Arteta, 37, as a permanent replacement for Unai Emery just minutes after City boss Guardiola had held his press conference for Saturday evening’s home game against Leicester.
Guardiola had said earlier in the week that fellow Spaniard Arteta would be leaving with his best wishes after a three-and-a-half-year stint as his assistant.
🥁 Introducing our new head coach…
Mikel Arteta ✍️ pic.twitter.com/PTmElGDMR3
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 20, 2019
“He decided to move there. You know when you have dreams,” Guardiola said.
“You cannot stop it. Follow your dreams and Arsenal was a big part of his career as a football player and he’s back at home.
“That’s important to him and (Arsenal are) one of the best teams in England
“We wish him all the best. I’m pretty sure he will do an excellent job.”
Guardiola confirmed that City will not be looking to fill the gap Arteta will leave in his coaching staff.
“We will stay with the same people,” Guardiola said. “Now we don’t add, we can go with the people we have here.”
Guardiola said Arteta had not been involved in preparations for the visit of second-placed Leicester, who sit four points above City in the table.
Former skipper Vincent Kompany’s solitary goal in last season’s corresponding fixture – City’s final home game – edged Guardiola’s side closer to the Premier League crown following their epic battle with Liverpool.
Guardiola is a big admirer of Leicester and is not surprised they are flying so high in the table.
“They have a lot of quality up front, in the middle, they are solid and they play so good on the counter-attack.
“They are good positionally, they control all departments of the game, so they’re a fantastic team.
“They were last season and after that game it was my feeling that they would be fighting for the top four and it’s happened. Fantastic team.”
Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero (thigh) and John Stones (hamstring) could return to contention to face Leicester, but David Silva has not returned to training and remains a big doubt.
Kevin De Bruyne, Ederson and Fernandinho, among the players rested for the midweek Carabao Cup win at Oxford, are all expected to return.