Liverpool assistant coach heaps praise on 'transformative' Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

during a training session at Al Nasr Leisure Land Stadium on 12 December, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
(Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC Images)

Things might have become heated between Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp when Arsenal (opens in new tab) have faced Liverpool (opens in new tab) in recent times, but there's still the utmost respect from the Reds dugout towards the Gunners manager.

Pep Lijnders, Klopp's number two, went on the same coaching course as Arteta while the latter was serving as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City (opens in new tab).

And the Dutchman has nothing but admiration for the Spaniard, hailing his 'transformative' impact on Arsenal since taking over this time three years ago.

Lijnders spoke to FourFourTwo about Arteta for the latest issue available to buy (opens in new tab). He said:

"I loved every second [on the coaching course with Arteta]. Mikel and I were in the same position at that time: him assisting Pep, me assisting Jurgen. Curiosity and respect – so many similarities.

"I'm happy for his route – his success – despite being competitors. I want people I respect to do well. Except against us!

"He is transforming the club [Arsenal]. There isn't a bigger compliment in football."

Arsenal beat Liverpool 3-2 in a thrilling contest at the Emirates Stadium when the sides met for the first time this season in October.

The reverse fixture at Anfield takes place in April, when the Gunners – this term's pacesetters – will hope to still be firmly in contention for their first Premier League title in 19 years.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...