Mikel Arteta says he would be ‘delighted’ to have Arsene Wenger back on board at Arsenal in some capacity and feels the Frenchman’s knowledge and experience would be a ‘great help’ for him and his team.
Wenger ended his 22-year spell in charge of the Gunners back in 2018, departing as the most successful and longest-serving manager in the club’s history.
The 72-year-old is currently working as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, a position he took on two years ago, but there has been mounting speculation he could be set for a role back at the Emirates.
Wenger has been receptive to the idea and Arteta believes his former boss’ presence would only be beneficial for him and his squad due to the ‘respect, admiration and love’ that exists as a result of what he achieved across his tenure.
Arteta served as Arsenal captain from 2014 until his retirement after being signed by Wenger three years earlier and the pair recently caught up at the ‘Invincible’ premiere in north London.
‘He’s been in communication. I saw him and I talked to him when we went to see the film,’ Arteta told reporters at his press conference on Thursday.
‘It was incredibly pleasant to see him and chat to him.
‘Hopefully we can bring him close because I think he would have a great time just seeing the environment he can create around him when he’s around this place because of the respect, admiration and love that everybody at the club has for what he’s done and as well what he represents as a person in this club.’
Asked what role Wenger could potentially take up, the Spaniard replied: ‘I cannot tell you now.
‘But what I can say is I would like him to be much closer to me personally because I think it would be a great help, a great help for the club.
‘Things take time and he has to dictate those timings and what I can say from my side on my behalf of everybody that we would be delighted to have him much closer.’
Arsenal will hope to return to winning ways in the wake of their thumping 4-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, but Arteta knows a tough task awaits at home to Eddie Howe’s Newcastle this weekend.
‘Let’s keep going. It’s a new game, obviously there are some changes that are happening there,’ he added.
‘You see the momentum is building, it’s different.
‘You could see with the last game they played some different things, a new manager and coaching staff, so let’s be prepared.’
The Spaniard went on: ‘We are really looking forward to the game. After a defeat you want to put it in a different context straightaway.
‘We are on a good run, we play at home, we’re going to have our people right behind us and we’re going to first of all play as well as we can and then we’ll be closer to winning the match.’
Arsenal are currently fifth in the Premier League and victory over Newcastle could see them leapfrog West Ham into the top four.
The Magpies, meanwhile, are yet to win a single match this season and sit bottom of the table after back-to-back draws in the English top flight.
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