Puel looks forward to Wenger reunion

8 Sep

Claude Puel

Claude Puel played under Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at Monaco between 1987 and 1994

Southampton manager Claude Puel says former mentor Arsene Wenger convinced him to manage in the Premier League.

The 55-year-old Frenchman played under Arsenal boss Wenger while at Monaco more than 20 years ago.

Puel replaced Ronald Koeman as Southampton manager in June after ending his four-year spell with Nice.

“Before signing at Southampton I spoke with him about the possibilities about going to England,” said Puel, whose team travel to Arsenal on Saturday.

“Arsene Wenger was my trainer for seven years at Monaco and it’s a pleasure to see him on the other bench. People sometimes do not understand the fantastic work of Arsene. He’s an example for other coaches.

“He told me it will be a fantastic challenge to come into the Premier League,” he told BBC Radio Solent.

Southampton’s record signing Sofiane Boufal remains at least a month away from action, while Fraser Forster is expected to be fit after withdrawing from international duty with England.

But defender Jeremy Pied, who signed from Nice last month, could miss the rest of the season.

“It’s a big injury, it’s a bad moment for the team as well,” said Puel. “Perhaps he will come back between six and nine months.”


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