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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Tom Blow

Mikel Arteta told Pep Guardiola will "never sell a player to Arsenal again"

Jamie Carragher believes Pep Guardiola will "never sell a player to Arsenal again" due to the Gunners' impressive form this season.

Mikel Arteta's side were expected to push for a top-four finish at the beginning of the Premier League season, but few critics backed them to challenge Manchester City for the title. As such, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko left the Etihad for the Emirates.

Yet Arsenal are flying in the Premier League. They are two points clear of City at the top of the table with a game in hand. Carragher thinks City boss Guardiola sold Jesus and Zinchenko to Arsenal because they were not a "threat" - but that has now changed.

Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko joined Arsenal last summer (Getty Images)

"Pep Guardiola’s system this season is a flip of what he’s done before," Liverpool legend Carragher told The Overlap in Focus, in partnership with Sky Bet. "It was always the full back going into midfield, now it’s the midfielder going to full back.

"Bernardo Silva is starting in midfield then trying to get to full back. Pep and Manchester City will never sell a player to Arsenal ever again. The reason why Oleksandr Zinchenko was sold to Arsenal is because of Pep's mate - and he didn’t feel Arsenal were a threat."

Guardiola's side have won four of the last five Premier League titles with remarkable consistency. In those five campaigns, City's points tally was as follows: 100 (2017/18), 98 (2018/19), 81 (2019/20 - did not win the title), 86 (2020/21), 93 (2021/22).

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have both offered their opinions on the latest episode of The Overlap (The Overlap)

Do you agree with Jamie Carragher? Let us know in the comments below!

Yet City have struggled to put consistent runs together this season. They have already lost four Premier League games and surprisingly dropped points against Everton and Nottingham Forest in recent weeks. That has allowed Arsenal to maintain their advantage.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have benefitted from the experience of Jesus and Zinchenko. The two were involved in all four of City's Premier League title triumphs under Guardiola and know what it takes to get over the line at this stage in the season.

Zinchenko has played consistently for the Gunners since his summer transfer, although Jesus sustained a knee injury at the World Cup in Qatar. The Brazilian is close to a return to fitness and is expected to return to Premier League action this month.

Arteta also knows what it takes to win the Premier League. He was Guardiola's assistant until December 2019, when he left to take the Arsenal job. The two managers have been complementary of each other, which explains Carragher's "mate" reference.

Arteta insisted the title race would not "change any friendships" during an interview with Sky Sports in January. He added: "We are both willing to win and defend our clubs in the best possible way. That has always been the case since day one.

"I would prefer to do it with someone else, because I want the best for him. When you are challenging with someone like this, something comes in between. It's a strange feeling, but it is what is, and that's our challenge."

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