“UNREAL” Mikel Arteta will bring the glory days back to Arsenal, says former team-mate Jack Wilshere.
The Spaniard replaced Unai Emery in the Emirates dug-out in December and has already impressed by transforming their form.
Former Arsenal academy graduate Wilshere, who left for West Ham in 2018, spent seven years playing alongside the new boss in North London.
And he believes that his old pal, who stepped in to help his players agree a 12.5 per cent pay cut this week, is the right man to utilise the “strong squad” despite their previous struggles.
Speaking on an Instagram Live with Sam Morgan, Wilshere said: “They’ve got world-class players.
“They spent £60 million on [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, £40m on [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Mesut] Ozil is world-class.
“I think they’ve got a good manager now who can get the best out of them.
“I think you need to give Arteta a transfer window and a pre-season.”
Having shared the dressing-room with ex-Rangers and Everton midfielder Arteta, England international Wilshere knows full well the discipline levels of his former colleague.
And he insists those high-standards meant Arteta was always destined to become a coach.
He said: “When I was playing with him you don’t really think about that but, when I look back, you could tell.
“He was one of those guys in training who was always on it. He wouldn’t accept anything less than 100 per cent.
“Even if we were doing possession, he would try and base it around a game and try and talk to you about what we should be doing.
“Around the training ground he was first in, never late, he would do everything properly. His discipline was unreal.
“On the pitch as well, he was the leader for us. In the dressing room and around the place he wouldn’t get involved in any banter.
“His English was good, he knew the game, he was good. He was a big player for us.”
The key to improving Arsenal is to mend their long-term defensive problems, says Wilshere.
And he thinks Arteta has already made strong progress in that department.
The 28-year-old added: “Everyone who I’ve spoken to since leaving Arsenal or even when I was at Arsenal would say they wouldn’t mind playing against us because they knew they could get opportunities. Going forward we were always a joke.
“I’m not just talking about the defence but defensively, as a team, they would get chances and I think Arteta has changed that a bit.”