Shkodran Mustafi says his Arsenal team are more united following the arrival of Mikel Arteta as manager.
Arteta is only 38, making him one of the youngest managers the Premier League has seen, but he played for Arsenal for five years, which was seen as a key plus when the club were recruiting Unai Emery’s replacement. In total, he played 150 times for the north London club.
Following retirement, Arteta spent the next three years shadowing Pep Guardiola as assistant manager of Manchester City. In December 2019, he took over from interim replacement Freddie Ljungberg to become Arsenal boss.
World Cup winner Mustafi told Sky Sports News: “He’s [Arteta’s] a little like a professor. He knows exactly where he wants the players to be when on the ball and how to react when losing the ball. It’s very special.
“When I pass, I am usually only focused on where to be if we lose the ball but he wants me to contribute offensively too. So we constantly need to make an option for the player on the ball.
“When you are 28 and you play in different countries with other coaches you think you know everything but then he came in and there are things I’ve never known before.”
But the Germany international doesn’t feel Arteta’s managerial skills stop there. He added that the Spaniard has been a good uniting force between disagreeing players at Arsenal.
He revealed: “Sometimes we don’t realise what a difficult job it is. From 25 players maybe 20 agree with the coach and five still think we should play different.
“Since Mikel has come in, he has [had] 25 players on board and this is not easy to achieve. Everyone understands and everything he says makes sense. There is nothing we can complain about. Everyone has benefited, even Mesut [Özil].”
On whether he feels it is right that the Bundesliga returns this weekend, Mustafi’s message was simple. He concluded: “There is so much talk and opinions on this but I’m just looking forward to playing.”