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Mauricio Pochettino has already predicted that Mikel Arteta will become one of the best managers in football as the Spaniard closes in on a move to Arsenal.
The Gunners held talks with Arteta on Sunday evening after the team’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium, and we understands that the club’s hierarchy are now confident that an agreement can be reached with the 37-year-old within the next 48 hours.
Pochettino, who was sacked by Tottenham in November, was also in the running for the Arsenal job and didn’t rule out a move to Spurs’ north London rivals when asked about the position earlier this month.
However, Arteta is now favourite to land his first managerial position having been Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City since July 2016.
Questions have already been raised over Arteta’s suitability for the role due to his lack of experience in comparison to other alternatives including Massimiliano Allegri and Carlo Ancelotti.
But Pochettino, who played alongside Arteta at Paris Saint-Germain, has already claimed that the Spaniard is destined for the top.
‘He was very young when I played with him at Paris Saint-Germain, he was 17 years old when he arrived and he was brilliant,’ Pochettino said in an interview with Sky Sports in February.
‘He was brilliant not only because of his talent but his maturity on the pitch, to be a leader, his knowledge about football surprised me as he was a young player who had a capacity to talk in the same level as a 30-year-old player. ‘For me, he’s going to be one of the best coaches when he decides to be a coach.
‘He has the capacity to be one of the greatest coaches in football, for sure.
Asked if one day Arteta will be a top manager, Pochettino replied: ‘Yes of course, he’s going to be. ‘He’s top, a top personality, character. ‘I think he has the qualities to be one of the best.’