The duo grew up together in San Sebastian before Arteta made the move to Barcelona at the age of 15. Alonso, meanwhile, joined Real Sociedad and eventually ended up facing his childhood friend in the Premier League during Liverpool’s Merseyside derbies with Everton.
“I follow him very closely because we have kept in touch forever, from when he move from Everton to Arsenal,” Alonso told Arsenal’s official YouTube channel.
“I want to know how it works there in Arsenal, and he’s enjoying it so far.”
Arteta, meanwhile, believes Alonso is a great example for young footballers to follow.
“I’m proud that he’s coming from the same city [as me]. He has taken that name as well when he’s been at Liverpool, Real Madrid and now Bayern Munich, he’s been successful everywhere,” said the Arsenal midfielder.
“The way he’s committed himself, the way he behaves, I think it’s great example for every kid who’s trying to be a professional footballer - have a look at him and see what you need to do to reach that level.”