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‘Professor’ Arteta has united Arsenal squad in their goal for glory

Defender Mustafi says 'everyone has benefited' from the Spaniard's arrival as the Premier League closes in on a return following virus outbreak

15 May, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

SHKODRAN Mustafi has heaped praise on Mikel Arteta, describing the Arsenal gaffer as the club’s new “professor”.

The Germany defender says Arteta has united the squad, and that all the players are “on board” with his future plans.

Arteta took charge at the Emirates in December and quickly sparked a turnaround in the club’s fortunes, with the Gunners losing one of their last 13 matches in all competitions before the coronavirus outbreak.

Mustafi believes the whole squad is improving under Arteta’s tuition. He even dubbed him as a “professor”, a nod, no doubt, to the club’s most successful manager of all time, Arsene Wenger – the mastermind manager dubbed the original “Professeur”.

“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,” Mustafi told Sky Sports News. “He’s a little like a professor.

“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.”

The Arsenal players are now back in training as talks surrounding “Project Restart” – the Premier League’s plan to get football in England back underway next month – continue.

Mustafi says the north Londoners are poised for great things whenever football returns thanks to Arteta’s ability to bring everyone together.

He added: “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 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.”

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