Outgoing Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has given his backing to Mikel Arteta to replace him in the dugout at the Emirates Stadium.
The 68-year-old Frenchman has hailed his former captain, who he says has ‘all the qualities’ to manage the Gunners going forward.
Speaking to beIN Sport (via the Telegraph), Wenger said: “He has all the qualities to do the job, yes, and I think as well he is one of the favourites.
“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?”
Arteta played 149 games for Arsenal between 2011 and 2016, winning the FA Cup and the Community Shield during his time at the club.
Since his retirement as a player in 2016, the 36-year-old Spaniard has been assistant manager to Pep Guardiola at Premier League champions Manchester City. That time will surely have given him valuable experience as he worked alongside one of the best coaches in the world.
Despite that, Arteta has no experience as a ‘number one’, but this isn’t something that worries Wenger, who says there is plenty of experience in the backroom team at the Emirates.
He added: “I left a lot of experience behind me, people who were with me like Steve Bould, who has six years’ experience, and Jens Lehmann too. He has been an assistant of Guardiola as well, so overall I think he has the qualities.”
Arsenal are now understood to have interviewed all of their main candidates, with Julian Nagelsmann staying put at Hoffenheim, and Joachim Low signing a new contract to stay on as manager of the German national team.