Arsene Wenger says he has not returned to the Emirates at all since leaving as Arsenal manager in 2018 because he does not want to be a distraction or a problem for those who have followed him.
The Gunners legend was in charge of the club from 1996 to 2018, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.
The Frenchman also helped turn Arsenal into one of Europe’s biggest clubs when they joined the Emirates from Highbury, but he has chosen not to even visit the stadium since leaving his post as manager.
Wenger says it is loyalty to the Gunners that has led him to turn down a number of offers from other clubs, while he has also not returned to the Emirates out of love for Arsenal as he does not want to pose a problem for the regimes that follow came to him.
‘No, I wasn’t there. After 22 years I was maybe at the end of the road and people wanted a change, which I can understand,” Wenger said at the launch of former Arsenal co-owner David Dein’s new book.
“I’ve always been loyal to the club and turned down many, many clubs because I felt my life was definitely connected to the club.
“The club has taken a different direction, which I can totally understand and sometimes you have to change completely to have a fresh start. Me and my presence there could have been a problem.
“I stayed away completely to give the club a chance to reconnect with a new manager. That’s why I never spoke about Arsenal and never came back to Arsenal because I didn’t want a presence that might not be good for the club.
However, Wenger is now happy to comment on the current Arsenal team and is very impressed with the team Mikel Arteta has built.
“I would say they are moving in the right direction. I honestly think there’s no weak position in the team…they’re young, promising players and they’ve shopped well this year,” he said.
“There is no completely dominant team this season and Arsenal have a chance with the potential that is there.
“We used to be in the top four and why not again? You can’t even rule out that they can fight for the title and hope they do it.”
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