Mikel Arteta has hailed Patrick Vieira as an “Arsenal legend” and a “remarkable” player ahead of the the pair’s meeting on Monday.
Vieira, 45, will bring his Crystal Palace team to the Emirates Stadium on Monday night as he prepares to meet Arsenal for the first time as a manager.
The former midfielder was in fact linked with the vacant Arsenal role before Arteta landed the position.
Vieira was an icon in time him at Highbury and won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups with the Gunners. He also captained them on their unbeaten Invincibles season.
Arteta never played in the same Arsenal side as Vieira, but he was in no doubt how good a player Vieira was during his time in Arsene Wenger’s midfield.
“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. Patrick 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. 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. It is great to have him back.”
A midfielder Arteta will not be able to call on when the Eagles make the journey across London on Monday night is Granit Xhaka.
The Switzerland international has been sidelined by a knee injury suffered in the north London derby win over Tottenham last month.
Arteta praised Xhaka’s determination to come back earlier from the setback. And when asked if the player could return quicker than the three months originally expected, he said: “With Granit I don’t know.
“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.”