Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Arsene Wenger was his inspiration to become a football manager and has invited the Frenchman to rejoin the club.
Wenger, 71, left Arsenal in 2018 after being in charge for 22 years and now works as FIFA’s head of global football development.
Arteta played five years under Wenger before retiring in 2016 and taking on a coaching role at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.
Arteta returned to Arsenal as head coach in December 2019 and thanks his former boss for the confidence he has been given to embark on a career in management.
Speak with Sky Sports News At the premiere of “Arsene Wenger: Invincible” on Tuesday night, Arteta said, “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today and I wouldn’t have enjoyed the career I had.
Asked if Wenger is the reason he became manager, Arteta added: “100 per cent. I was still young and had my ideas, but he was another level of inspiration on how I looked at the game.
“He was very good at conveying what a football club meant to the players and he questioned me several times. That’s why I started studying and coaching much more seriously.”
“I would like him to be more present at the club. I think the players would love him, benefit from him and be inspired to have him around and I think it would be a huge boost for the club to be.”
“It was so intense for him over 20 years and you have to get away for a bit, but I think it would be so beneficial for all parties to have him more present.”
Wenger: I could go back to management
Wenger himself has not ruled out a return to football management, suggesting his next role could be in charge of a national team.
The Frenchman has won three Premier League titles with the Gunners and the FA Cup seven times, while also reaching the Champions League final and famously leading the Invincibles side from 2003-04.
He said: “I’m crazy enough to be crazy and make a crazy decision, but I’m determined at the moment not to, maybe one day a national team.
“But right now I’m involved in projects with FIFA and I want to get to the end with that and that’s more useful for me now.”
Wenger ‘understands’ biannual World Cup problems
Wenger also says he understands why some are concerned about his proposals to hold a World Cup every two years, but emphasizes that this is in the interest of football.
UEFA has repeatedly objected to the proposals, with Confederation President Aleksander Ceferin even saying European countries could boycott the biennial World Cups.
European Leagues – a body of which the Premier League is a member – and the European Club Association are also against the plans.
“I understand [the concerns]Wenger said. “I made the proposal for the international competition calendar and the World Cup every two years is just part of that.
“I demand a better separation between the national team and club football, and fewer qualifying matches. I want more simplicity, more clarity, a more modern, optical representation of the calendar and that will only happen after 2024.”
“That is my proposal. I accept everyone’s opinion and it is not my decision. The decision will be made by the 211 countries of the entire football world.”