Aymeric Laporte says former Man City assistant Mikel Arteta can 'achieve great things'

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 Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on March 06, 2020 0:40
Aymeric Laporte says Mikel Arteta is a 'great manager' and looks forward to seeing him when Manchester City take on Arsenal

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte says his former assistant coach Mikel Arteta will "achieve great things" as a manager.

City take on Arteta's new side Arsenal, live on Sky Sports, on Wednesday and Laporte says he owes a lot to the Spaniard from his time at the Etihad.

"Mikel is a great coach and, for me, he has been one of the best people I have met in Manchester," Laporte said.

"He tries to help players all the time, he had a really good relationship with everyone and with me especially.

"I think he's a great manager and he will make great things in his coaching career."

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City are 25 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp's team potentially just one victory away from the title.

But Laporte says it's important he and his team-mates focus on the Champions League and FA Cup, which they are both still in contention for.

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He said: "We have to look positively because if we look at the Premier League, we know it's difficult or impossible to get it.

Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City
Image: Aymeric Laporte is currently recovering from a hamstring injury and will not play on Wednesday

"But we have two other competitions to fight and we will fight until the end to try and win these trophies.

"You think about [Liverpool's lead] but we have to focus on ourselves and what we do and try to do the best we can.

"Personally, I got injured for a long time this season which was a bad thing for me and the club as well. Now we have to be focused on the next steps and we will see what happens."

Guardiola: Arteta has advantage on Wednesday

Pep Guardiola admits Mikel Arteta has a key advantage as he prepares his Arsenal side to face Manchester City.

The 49-year-old's former assistant returns to the Etihad Stadium for the first time since leaving City in December in a rearranged Premier League clash on Wednesday.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta 2:35
Mikel Arteta is excited by his first return to Manchester City on Wednesday after leaving to take over at Arsenal

Guardiola is renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and thorough analysis of opponents, but he concedes Arteta has the upper hand on this occasion.

He said: "He has more information about us than I have about the Arsenal team but that's normal.

"It was a huge amount of hours working together, on thoughts and ideas, solving problems, before the game and during and after the game, especially identifying the quality of the players.

"He knows exactly the way we love this game and the quality of the players. I can imagine a little bit what he thinks but I've not been in his locker room since he's been manager and I don't know his players."

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