Arsene Wenger faces a reunion with Claude Puel tonight, a man he previously managed over 30-years ago when the pair where at Monaco.
The two Frenchman have a close friendship and will come toe-to-toe this evening when Peul’s men travel to North London to tackle Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.
Whilst Wenger revealed he has helped Puel in the past, he told The Daily Mail he’d be doing no favours to his former player this evening but praised the former Nice boss for his work with the Saints so far.
“I spoke with him before he joined Southampton. After he signed, we became competitors and it’s different. But before he signed, I gave him my impression of the Southampton team and the quality of their players.”
“I always felt that they’ve had a very strong side of very good quality. You see the likes of Jose Fonte and Cedric are European champions now with Portugal, so Southampton have done extremely well with their scouting.”
“I’m not at all surprised that Puel and Southampton are doing well. He did a good job at Nice over the last four years.”
Southampton are likely to face a rotated Arsenal XI at the Emirates this evening, though Wenger is still likely to select a side with a lot of quality, and the Saints face a daunting task in ending the Gunners unbeaten run in all competitions.
Liverpool were the last side to emerge victorious against Wenger’s side, on the first day of the Premier League season, but Southampton will be pushed forward by the aim of reaching the semi-finals of the EFL Cup.