Arteta had to ‘follow his dream’ says Guardiola


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Pep Guardiola says Mikel Arteta had to “follow his dream” as the Manchester City manager’s former assistant was announced as Arsenal’s new head coach on Friday.

Arsenal have turned to their former midfielder Arteta to replace the sacked Unai Emery after agreeing a compensation package with City.

And while he was reluctant to lose Arteta, Guardiola said it was difficult to stop his compatriot taking up his first managerial post at a club where he also spent five years as a player.

“He decided to move there. When you have dreams you cannot stop it. You have to follow your dreams,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.

“Arsenal was important in his career, one of the best teams in Europe, I wish him all the best. I’m sure he’ll do an excellent job.”

Guardiola is expected to promote Rodolfo Borrell, also linked with joining Arteta at Arsenal, as his new assistant.

“We’ll stay with the same people, right now we are not adding anyone. We’ll work with the people who are here,” Guardiola added.

Guardiola’s focus will now switch to Saturday’s Premier League game against Leicester, a team who stand four points ahead of City in second place after an impressive start to the season.

Despite losing defender Harry Maguire to Manchester United in the summer, Brendan Rodgers has shaped a side tipped as title dark horses.

“Yeah they did really well last season when he took over, this season too, so consistent, excellent team,” Guardiola said of Leicester.

“They sold Maguire, the others are the same, a lot of quality in the middle, counter attacks, control all departments of the team. 

“Last season I had the feeling they’d fight for the top four and it’s happened, they’re a fantastic team.

“There are a lot of games to play, the distance we are from now, the teams in front or behind can change, especially in this period. We set up for tomorrow as quickly as possible and do what we have to do.”

City striker Sergio Aguero is back in contention after a seven-match absence with a thigh injury.

“He’s a top player,” Guardiola said of the Argentine.

Centre-back John Stones also trained after a muscle problem forced him out of the defeat to Manchester United, but midfielder David Silva has not recovered from a leg injury.

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