Arsene Wenger: Mikel Arteta 'Has All the Qualities' to Be Arsenal Manager

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IMay 17, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Mikel Arteta, Manchester City coach looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger has given his backing to Mikel Arteta amid speculation that he could replace the Frenchman as Arsenal.

The 36-year-old has emerged as the favourite to take charge of the Gunners and become the club's new manager, per Kaveh Solhekol at Sky Sports.

Wenger told beIN Sports (h/t Thomas Bristow at the Mirror) that he believes the Spaniard has all the attributes required.

"He has all the qualities to do the job, yes, and I think as well he is one of the favourites," Wenger said. "He was a leader, and he has a good passion for the game and he knows the club well, he knows what is important at the club and he was captain of the club. Why not?"

One factor that may count against Arteta is his lack of managerial experience. However, Wenger highlighted how there are plenty of staff at the club able to help out the former midfielder.

"I left a lot of experience behind me, people who were with me like Steve Bould, who has six years experience, and Jens Lehmann too," he said. "He has been an assistant of [Manchester City Pep] Guardiola as well, so overall I think he has the qualities."

Arteta is close to taking the job after holding talks with the Gunners. He also wants Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla to be offered a player/coaching role, per Miguel Delaney at The Independent.

James Olley at the Evening Standard explained why Arteta would be a gamble for Arsenal:

Standard Sport @standardsport

🗣️ 'He would be a gamble, there is no doubt about that' Chief football correspondent @JamesOlley talks Arsenal managerial target Mikel Arteta https://t.co/JH3iC9eZ5m

The Spaniard spent two years at Arsenal before moving to Manchester City in 2016 to work as part of Guardiola's coaching staff. He knows the Gunners well and will have learned plenty from Guardiola, who is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the game.

The City boss has spoken highly of his colleague, as shown by Goal:

Goal UK @GoalUK

Could Mikel Arteta be the next Arsenal manager? 🔴 #AFC Pep Guardiola wouldn't stand in his way if he wanted to leave... 🔵 #MCFC https://t.co/D9mFoSV3Bz

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has also given his backing to Arteta:

Ian Wright @IanWright0

@ArsenalMoh8 @johncrossmirror Moh we need to get ourselves back in the party! An experience CL manager may not have the time/ patience/ or money to do that. Maybe Arteta after his Guardiola stint, can get the chance to coach and build 😎

Endorsements from Wenger and Guardiola can only help Arteta's cause and also show that he is held in high regard by the football community.

If the club do appoint the 36-year-old, it seems it will be part of a restructuring move and he will be responsible for team affairs. Transfers may be handled separately, and the club are already targeting a £75 million spree despite being without a manager, per the Sun's Mark Irwin.

Appointing Arteta would be a brave move by Arsenal, but bringing in Wenger from Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1996 was also seen as something of a risk at the time as he was largely unknown in England. Wenger knows exactly what it takes to do the job, and his comments may help convince Arsenal that Arteta is the right man.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.