Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he huge ‘respect’ for Arsenal boss manager Mikel Arteta for turning around his fortunes at the Emirates Stadium.
The German is also wowed by the Gunners’ attacking talent, as he lavished praise on the north London club prior ahead of Sunday’s clash between the Premier League giants.
The Reds’ opponents this weekend currently sit top of the Premier League, with Arsenal winning seven of their eight games in the league so far.
Meanwhile, Liverpool sit 9th after just two league victories, 11 points adrift of the leaders – although with a game in hand.
The clash at the Emirates is set to be a good test for Arteta’s side, given they fell to defeat to other top six contenders, Manchester United, before the international break.
But regardless of how the game goes, Klopp believes the Gunners are a side to be admired, given they’ve risen from throwing away their spot in the Champions League places last season to now being top of the tree.
“All my respect, wow!” Klopp told the media ahead of the game.
“Really good job from Mikel. When you need time, nobody wants to give you it. I have to say, a lot of respect.”
Arteta hasn’t had the smoothest ride since taking over at Arsenal, with the former Gunners captain facing heavy criticism and having to make several tough decisions – including banishing skipper and star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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His side then failed to see out their place in the top four of the Premier League, with their local rivals Tottenham stealing their spot in the final weeks of last season.
Since then, though, Arsenal are a side full of a confidence, and Klopp thinks Arteta is getting the best out of his attacking stars – who the German has always rated – this season.
He continued: “A lot of talent…Martinelli, I was excited about him early, Odegaard, I spoke to him at 15 in Norway with his dad. Saka… ooof!
“And Gabriel Jesus, Mikel could see how good he could be not in a Man City shirt. Thomas Partey, everyone saw how good he was at Atletico Madrid. Lots of quality.
“A young, exciting team doing really well. Now we go there and we don’t think about [past results].”
Arsenal’s £45million summer signing Jesus has certainly hit the ground running this campaign, scoring five Premier League goals and assisting three in eight appearances since joining from Manchester City.
But despite this, the Reds boss was full of compliments for the striker and says he’s pleased to see Jesus used in his natural position at Arsenal.
“I always liked Gabriel Jesus as a player,” Klopp continued, “Exceptional player, you always saw that at Man City.”
“His role at City was a No.9 or a winger, everyone said last season City had no No.9, but he was still there!
“Now he plays his role. He’s flying and full of confidence. Top class.”
talkSPORT will bring you live updates from Arsenal vs Liverpool on Sunday October 9, with kick-off set for 4:30pm.