Competition is getting serious for Arteta
MIKEL ARTETA thinks the Carabao Cup has become a lifeline for a growing number of Premier League trophy hunters.
And the Arsenal manager, who won the competition back- to- back as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City, insists the Gunners will be taking it seriously.
Arteta has vowed not to play the kids at Leicester tonight and is in it to win it this season when it comes to a competition regarded by some as an afterthought.
He said: “Is it taken seriously enough? I think it is. In the last few seasons, I think this competition
LEICESTER V ARSENAL 7.45PM
has raised in importance for the clubs.
“There is only one winner in the Premier League. That leaves a lot of frustrated clubs and now everybody wants a trophy.
“You can see in the last few years the types of finals we have seen and that teams have used strong line- ups.
“We are going to take the Carabao Cup seriously, that is for sure. Obviously with the fixtures we have, the number of games, it is very difficult. But we have to go day by day, let’s see what position we are in for Wednesday to try to put out the strongest possible team to try to win it.” The game comes too soon for Alex Runarsson, who signed from Dijon for nearly £ 2million on Monday. But Eddie Nketiah looks certain to start after coming off the bench to score the winner against West Ham on Saturday. Arteta could also bring William Saliba into the squad for the first time after admitting the 19- year- old defender needs time to adapt to English football.
The Gunners boss said: “William is doing really well. He is adapting to the country, adapting to our club.
“We have to bear in mind that he had a really challenging season last year with the amount of injuries that he had.
“But he is a player that is going to be important in our future. Things sometimes take some time and we have to respect that.”