The Arsenal skipper joined Paris Saint-Germain on loan from Barcelona when he was a teenager and played alongside Pochettino for a season.
"He was the captain of the club and for me, he was like a father. He really looked after me. He taught me about the values and the behaviour that a professional footballer must have," he told the club's official website.
"He told me about the way a footballer must look after himself and he had a lot of respect for his teammates. I will always be grateful for what he did for him and I respect him for that."
Arsenal and Spurs contest the North London derby later today, and Pochettino wants his side to outbattle the Gunners.