Arsenal plans to build a statue of Arsene Wenger outside Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal set to build Arsene Wenger statue outside Emirates Stadium.
According to reports, Arsenal Football Club plans to build a statue of legendary manager Arsene Wenger outside the Emirates Stadium
Wenger spent 22 years in charge of Arsenal between 1996 and 2018 and despite leaving in controversial circumstances – which he later described as ‘unjustified’ and ‘very brutal’ – he is still considered one of the best managers of all time.
In a hugely successful spell for the north London club, he led Arsenal to three Premier League titles, culminating in 2003-04 when they finished the top-flight season unbeaten. He also guided the team to seven FA Cup victories.
The Frenchman, who is currently the FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, revolutionized English football’s scouting, training, and diet while serving as the Gunners’ longest-tenured manager in club history.
He never wavered in his loyalty to Arsenal, turning off bids from Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and England while playing for the club. Since leaving the Gunners, he has also turned down two Premier League offers.
His legacy, however, took a hit toward the end of his reign as the club’s fans and board drove him out after the fans became weary of settling for Premier League fourth-place finishes.
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Wenger departed Arsenal in 2018 after overseeing 1,235 games. Because of the circumstances of his departure and the hurt he felt, he did not return to the club until this week, more than four years later.
One Arsène Wenger ❤️ pic.twitter.com/agQln82HFC
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 26, 2022
But current boss Mikel Arteta, one of Wenger’s former captains, was keen for the 73-year-old to return and he was given a joyous reception by Arsenal fans during the 3-1 victory over West Ham on Boxing Day.
Following the victory, Wenger was also seen returning to the home dressing room with Arsenal players. Now, according to The Telegraph, the team is preparing to erect a statue honouring him in front of the Emirates to recognize his achievements.
Outside the club’s stadium, Arsenal already has statues of former players Thierry Henry, Tony Adams, and Dennis Bergkamp, as well as former manager Herbert Chapman, and Wenger was reportedly opposed to the idea of adding himself.
But Wenger appears to have had a change of heart after his recent return to the Emirates and has now given the green light for the statue to be built, which could be erected as early as 2023.
‘I’ve been involved in the process but it’s about him, the timing he needed,’ Arteta said about Wenger’s return to Arsenal after more than four years.
‘Hopefully he’s going to leave here and be willing to spend more time with us because he is such an influence: for me personally, in my career, the way I see the game, but as well for this football club.’