Arsenal's Mikel Arteta was 'destined to become a manager' says former teammate

  • The former Gunners defender, who played alongside Arteta, says that the Spaniard always had the potential to become a top manager

Fulham FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Fulham FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen played alongside Mikel Arteta in north London and stated that he always knew that the Spaniard would become a manager one day.

We all remember Thomas Vermaelen, don't we? The left-footed Belgian defender who was tough as nails, had an eye for goal, and was captain at one point under Arsene Wenger's reign in his 150 appearances for the club.

Well, during his time in north London, Vermaelan also crossed paths with current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta as the two played alongside each other.

With Arteta now an established manager in the Premier League and having turned the ship around to where the Gunners are now expected to go on title runs, Vermaelen, who had a front-row seat to Arteta's way of thinking, says that he always knew he would become a manager one day.

“Mikel was a great player and already a great leader for us in the team,” Vermaelan said via “I was saying it from early as well - he was one of those who was destined to become a manager. You could see how he was on the pitch - talking to the players and always involved in how we wanted to play. He was a true leader for us already in that team. You can see he’s doing an amazing job now."

However, with the Gunners are currently on their worst form slide in recent memory under Arteta, losing three straight games in all competitions, things aren't going smoothly in north London.

Though it's not for a lack of trying as the Gunners are still creating chances for fun - they just can't convert them.

Despite their recent woes, Vermaelen simply loves watching his former team go about its business on the pitch.

“When I watch the games on TV, the team are always exciting to watch," Vermaelan said. "You look at the players and feel like you have a feeling [of identity] with them. Sometimes you look at a team and you’re not really connected with them but with this team, you really love to watch them.”

Arsenal are now in Dubai as the players look to hit the reset button and come back fresh as the Gunners will welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates on 20 January.