BREAKING: Wenger endorses Mikel Arteta as potential Arsenal successor
Former Arsenal captain, Mikel Arteta has been heavily linked with succeeding Arsene Wenger, whose 22-year reign as manager came to an end at Huddersfield on Sunday.
While high-profile names such as Luis Enrique, Massimiliano Allegri and Carlo Ancelotti appear to be among the front-runners for the Emirates Stadium role, Arteta has emerged as a serious contender.
The 36-year-old ended his career with the Gunners, retiring in 2016 before taking a role on Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City.
After helping the club win a Premier League and Carabao Cup double, Arteta could now be set for a return to north London – especially as he is reportedly the preferred candidate of Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
Wenger has insisted ever since it was announced he would leave the club that he would play no part in appointing his successor, but he had kind words for his former skipper.
“He has all the qualities to do the job, yes, and I think as well he is one of the favourites,” the Frenchman told beIN Sports.
“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?
“He has been an assistant of Guardiola as well, so overall I think he has the qualities.
“I left a lot of experience behind me, people who were with me like (assistant manager) Steve Bould who has six years’ experience, and (coach) Jens Lehmann too.”
Bould and Lehmann are two members of the club’s coaching staff who have not followed Wenger out of the club as an overhaul of the backroom staff continues.