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Otamendi previews clash with Arsenal: “I know how Arteta thinks”

Mikel Arteta and Nicolas Otamendi, Manchester City
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Benfica’s new signing Nicolas Otamendi spoke about his team’s chances against Arsenal and his past relationship with Mikel Arteta.

Former Manchester City player Nico Otamendi arrived at Benfica this summer after the Citizens signed Ruben Dias to strengthen their defense. However, the Argentinian center-back hasn’t had an easy adaptation in Lisbon.

As a former Porto player, Otamendi struggled to convince the die-hard Benfiquistas that he was more than a former rival. In fact, fans raged against the defender after he was given the captain’s armband before completing five matches for the club.

Nevertheless, ‘El General’ is determined to succeed at his new club. In fact, Otamendi believes the new squad just needs time to complete their adaptation.

“We started the season well but this is a team with several new players, so a period of adaptation was needed. When we faced a tougher period we lost a bit of confidence. When there are games every other three or four days it’s hard to regain that confidence.

“It’s important to play with the right mentality and face the situation we’re in. We hope to improve as soon as possible,” Nico told The Athletic as per A Bola.

Nicolas Otamendi worked with Mikel Arteta in the past

Arsenal’s main man Mikel Arteta worked under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City when Otamendi was part of the Citizens’ squad. Despite the Gunners’ irregular form in the Premier League, the veteran defender is aware of the team’s quality.

“Obviously Arsenal isn’t even close to the top spots in the Premier League. But I know Mikel Arteta from the Manchester City days. I know how he thinks, the way he enjoys playing. He has a team of great players that produce good football.

“We have to give it our all because the Europa League is a good competition and we want to go as far as possible.”