Interview

'I see a fantastic future for us under Mikel'

Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker's Arsenal careers have always been intertwined.

Both signed in the frenetic final days of the 2011 summer transfer window, the pair went on to become captain and vice-captain respectively.

Now Arteta is our head coach, with Mertesacker our academy manager - and the German is sure we are heading back to better days under the Spaniard

"I’m so delighted that Mikel has a place where he belongs, that’s my belief and that was my belief already as a player," Per told Arsenal Player. 

"His leadership is fantastic and I felt it myself, just being vice-captain and learning from him, how to handle situations, how to man up, be the captain and show it. But as well, to have the empathy and the feeling for people. 

"I learned a lot from him and I can only say that our working relationship is great and our personal relationship is great, so I can see a fantastic future for us. 

"It’s just building pieces with Edu as well, so I think we’re in a fantastic position. We don’t take anything for granted, now is the time to really push on and make sure we come back to where we belong, and that’s the Champions League and having world-class players in the building, and having world-class young players. 

"We want to build on our DNA that was developed over centuries, so we cannot forget the history and the greatness of the club. We are inheriting that and we are sons of so many greats that have led this club to greatness, so it’s a big responsibility, not only for myself but for Mikel, Edu and all the great leadership we have. 

"I feel we have more and more people in the right places and I feel great about it."

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