Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has described Patrick Vieira as a “remarkable” legend of the club, ahead of his return with Crystal Palace on Monday night.
The former France midfielder will face his old side for the first time as a manager for the Premier League fixture, but at one stage it looked like he was Arteta’s rival for the Emirates hot seat, as he was heavily linked with the position when Unai Emery was sacked almost two years ago.
The pair are ex-Arsenal captains, and Arteta was asked in his pre-match news conference whether the club have missed a player like Vieira since he left for Juventus in 2005.
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"He was very dominant," Arteta said of his Palace counterpart.
He was physically really gifted, technically too, he had the right temper, he was brave and he could score goals. He could do a bit of everything and he was remarkable.
"Patrick was Patrick. There's not going to be another one like him.
"He is an Arsenal legend and I hope he gets the reception he deserves for what he did for the club, not only as a player but also what he transmitted as a person.
"He was a captain of the club in the most successful era in the last many years and it is great to have him back."
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Another former Arsenal captain, Granit Xhaka, this week posted a picture of himself in a leg brace but using a leg press, having injured his knee in the north London derby win over Tottenham last month.
The original prognosis was that the Switzerland midfielder would be out for around three months, but Arteta says if he can come back quicker, Xhaka will be doing everything possible to make sure he does.
"What I am sure is if you tell him three (months), he will be thinking two. He will be trying to cut edges and doing extra work to try to minimise that time, that's for sure.
"We have to do it in the right way because it is a significant injury and we want to have him back properly when he can."
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