Mikel Arteta is Arsenal’s ‘most important player’, claims Pep Guardiola

Mikel Arteta will watch the game from home (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola claims Arsenal will be without ‘their most important player’ against Manchester City as Mikel Arteta is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Spaniard tested positive for coronavirus for the second time earlier this week and will watch the match from his London home, with former Manchester United coach Albert Stuivenberg set to fill in for Arteta on the touchline.

Arteta spent three years as Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad before taking his first steps into management with Arsenal in December 2019.

The Gunners will be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against the league leaders but Guardiola feels Arteta’s absence is the most significant, describing the Spaniard as Arsenal’s ‘most important player’.

Arteta spent three years as Guardiola’s assistant (Credits: PA)

‘I would say Mikel is the most important player they have,’ said Guardiola.

‘I know his charisma and ideas and especially, his personality to do what he believes is the best for the team and the club.

‘The most important thing is for him to stay well, hope that the symptoms are low, everything is under control and he recovers and comes back to the place he loves, on the touchline and the sessions.

‘But since I arrived here, it is the best Arsenal I have ever seen in six six seasons. It will be a challenge for us but we have an incredible opportunity to maintain the distance and continue our run.’

Arsenal are in a rich vein of form having won their last four league matches on the bounce, helping the Gunners into fourth.

But City hold an eight-point lead at the top of the table and they’ve won their last five, making them the division’s most in-form side.

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