Wenger responds to Arsenal chairman question after being linked with return to Emirates Stadium


Arsene Wenger has been billed as the ideal candidate to succeed Sir Chips Keswick as chairman of Arsenal, but the Frenchman has no intention of taking on the role.

The Gunners find themselves in the market for a new figurehead after seeing Keswick head into retirement.

He had filled a prominent post in north London for 15 years, so a similar level of experience is now being sought.

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Wenger can claim to boast that, having spent 22 years at Arsenal’s managerial helm prior to stepping aside in 2018, and has been urged to consider a return to familiar surroundings.

Ex-Gunners defender Martin Keown has told talkSPORT: “Sir Chips is somebody who had been there for 15 years, took over from Peter Hill-Wood, so I think the club have been respectful with the work he's done there.

“It would be something special to see Arsene Wenger come onto the board. I don't think so somehow, I think he's said recently he doesn't want to do that, never saw himself as someone who would sit on the board, but they could do a lot worse.

“I feel that would be almost the perfect answer for [Stan] Kroenke, the young Josh Kroenke, he needs that older person perhaps around, someone with the experience.

“Other people would think that it would be intimidating for [Mikel] Arteta - I don't think so. If you're a successful-type personality, you don't really mind who else is in the building. You embrace that knowledge that could come in through the door.

“So I would applaud that if Arsenal Football Club were to bring Arsene Wenger onto the board.”

Wenger has welcomed that show of support, but when quizzed on the chances of him taking chairmanship of the Gunners he told beIN Sports: “The candidate says there is no candidate.”

While a disgruntled fan base turned on Wenger towards the end of his reign, many would welcome him back in a directorial capacity.

That is because there are still many fond memories of his time at the helm, with three Premier League titles secured under his tutelage.

They were claimed by star-studded squads, with many all-time greats having passed through Highbury and Emirates Stadium.

Picking the cream of that crop is a thankless task, with Wenger admitting as much when asked to select the best of those he worked with.

The 70-year-old said: “Well you had [Dennis] Bergkamp, Thierry Henry…erm, yeah, too many! I don’t know. You know, because it’s always difficult to choose one.”

Wenger had been expected to remain in coaching after bidding farewell to Arsenal, but no return to the dugout has been made and he is now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.

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