Riyad Mahrez says the Manchester City squad were emotional as Mikel Arteta said his goodbyes to the club this week before taking the Head Coach job at Arsenal.
Arsenal sacked Unai Emery at the end of last month, and earned five points in five games under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg. City were 3-0 winners against the Gunners at the Emirates last week.
That would prove to be Arteta's final Premier League game as City assistant manager, before taking his place in the dugout for the Carabao Cup win at Oxford on Wednesday. He was unveiled as Arsenal boss on Friday after saying goodbye to players and staff at the City Football Academy.
Speaking after City made a winning start to life after Arteta, where coach Rodolfo Borrell stepped into the role of assistant against Leicester, Mahrez shed light on the emotional week at the club.
"Mikel was an important member of staff in the club," Mahrez told Sky Sports.
"He helped everyone and it was a bit emotional, but it’s life and he had to take his chance and we are happy for him.”
Pep Guardiola also expanded on the impact Arteta's departure has had on the squad, telling the broadcaster: "[It was] a little bit different, honestly. It was three years and a half together and it was incredible.
"It was incredibly hard for me - for the team, not for me, for the team - he was an important person for the success we had in these years, he was a key key person.
"I wish him all the best and of course we have Rodolfo [Borrell] and Lorenzo [Buenaventura] and Carles Planchard who he helped me a lot in the last weeks because Carles is a person who are together since 11 years ago.
"In every meeting, in every game he was there and we talk a lot this week and he helped me a lot to understand what is the situation and try to do our best."