'Arteta must be shown patience' - Spanish boss needs time to complete 'long-term project', says ex-Gunners forward Baptista

Mikel Arteta can be successful at Arsenal if he is shown patience, according to Julio Baptista, who thinks the Spaniard will need time to complete his long-term project in north London.

Arteta inherited the managerial reins at the Emirates Stadium from interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg back in December, after spending the last three years as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City.

The Gunners endured a nightmare start to the 2019-20 campaign under Unai Emery, who was drafted in to succeed legendary boss Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2018.

Emery was sacked in November after just 18 months in charge, and Arsenal took their time before choosing their next permanent manager amid links to a number of high-profile names.

Arteta's appointment raised a few eyebrows due to his lack of experience, but he was a popular choice among supporters having served as the club's captain at the height of his playing career.

Signs of progress have already been shown under the 38-year-old, who oversaw an unbeaten start to 2020 in the Premier League before the season was placed on hiatus in March amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Baptista is confident that Arteta is the right man to take Arsenal forward, but says it could take a while for the Spaniard's vision to bear fruit.

"Arteta is a young coach who has a chance to be successful and needs the club: he must feel confident," the former Gunners forward told the Daily Mail.

"It is a long term project, and if he is given time then he will deliver results, but he must be shown patience."

Baptista spent the 2006-2007 season on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid, and also enjoyed spells at Roma and Malaga before hanging up his boots last year.

When asked to rank the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A in terms of quality, the Brazilian responded: "I think all the competitions are good, but I think English football is ahead because of their competitiveness and because they have five teams that can compete for the title. 

"We have already seen a Champions League final of two English teams last year when Tottenham played Liverpool."