Wenger backs young Gunners to shine
Former boss Arsene Wenger believes the future is bright at Arsenal as there are “many players” who have “fantastic potential”.
Wenger now watches the Gunners from afar and admits he will always be a fan of the club he served with distinction as manager between 1996 and 2018.
He stepped down to make way for Unai Emery and hopes his former side can eventually go on to repeat the success he enjoyed while in charge, even if matching his feat of three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups will be extremely difficult.
The Frenchman, who this week was named a ‘Legend of Football’ at the annual Nordoff Robins charity award dinner, admits it’s been an inconsistent season so far, with “ups and downs” but he is enthused by the young talent coming through under Emery at the Emirates, particularly the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock.
Guendouzi has caught the eye with his all-action style in midfield and his displays have not been lost on Wenger.
He told the club’s website: “He looks to be a good potential. I think there are many other players who have fantastic potential, who played already with me, like Joe Willock and you have Reiss Nelson. You have many players who come out and have a big potential and Guendouzi is one of them.”
Emery’s side sit third in the Premier League table after eight games on 15 points, just one behind second-placed Manchester City but nine adrift of leaders Liverpool, and there have been several encouraging performances to suggest they can return to the top four this season.
Wins over Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Burnley and Newcastle have been tempered somewhat by poor showings at Liverpool and Watford, when the Gunners threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2, while they also let a two-goal advantage slip in the North London derby at the Emirates when Spurs recovered to claim a point.
Wenger has yet to return to watch a game at his old home but says he will “one day”.
He added: “I’ve watched them on television until now, I’ve not been back to the Emirates and overall I might one day go again to watch it, but I had two distinctive periods. One at Highbury was a big love story as well and after as well, preparing the future of the club. That was at the Emirates, where we had of course this idea to extend the potential of the club and I think today the club is financially in a very strong position.”