‘Arteta was born to be captain’

Santi Cazorla says Mikel Arteta is “the ideal captain” for Arsenal and believes the new skipper thoroughly deserved to receive the armband.

The 32-year-old took over from Thomas Vermalaen as club captain at the start of August, after deputising for the Belgian last season, and the Gunners are still unbeaten under his leadership.

Arteta is hoping to return from an ankle injury to feature against Manchester City on Saturday, and Cazorla explained just how important the midfielder is to him, personally, and Arsenal.

"There are always players who are born to be a captain and he is one of them"

Santi Cazorla

“It makes me very happy,” the 29-year-old told Arsenal Player. “It was important for me to have him around when I arrived here. He helped me a lot on and off the pitch. He really deserves it.

“There are always players who are born to be a captain and he is one of them. He talks a lot on the pitch and also in the dressing room.

“He is always up for whatever the guys need. And that is what a captain has to do: transmitting conviction in order to keep the team together. And Mikel is prepared to do this.

“It is easy to tell what he’s like [as a person]. He is a guy who lives for football. He is always looking after himself, he is super professional and he also cares about the team so everyone is happy. That is why he is the ideal captain.

“Whenever there is a problem he is the one that goes and talks to the manager. He leads this group, so this captaincy is well deserved after his hard work here at Arsenal.

“He speaks the group when there is a problem. Whenever there is a meeting with the manager he is the first one telling everybody. He is always there for whatever problem it may be and also to address it with the manager.

“He transmits that motivation you need before an important game. The captain has to be the first one to speak. Mikel was doing this when he didn't wear the armband, so now he is the captain he will do so even more."

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