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Mikel Arteta reveals Wenger wish after Arsenal homecoming

Mikel Arteta, Arsene Wenger
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The legendary former Gunners boss returned to the Emirates for the first time since his departure in 2018 to watch the club’s victory over West Ham.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hopes Arsene Wenger will spend more time at the club after choosing the ‘right moment’ to return.

Wenger, who coached Arsenal for nearly 22 years until 2018, sat in the directors’ box near club owner Stan Kroenke and his son Josh to watch the Gunners beat West Ham 3-1 on Boxing Day and was serenaded by the home supporters.

“He picked the right moment, a really special day because Boxing Day is a beautiful day to play football and I thought today the levels were what he deserved and hopefully he’ll like [it],” Arteta said about his former Arsenal boss after the match.

“The players didn’t know [about it]. We wanted to keep it quiet and allow that space for Arsene. Stan and Josh are here as well and it was a really special day.

“Thank you so much to him for coming. Hopefully walking through the building he’s going to feel everything that everybody thinks of him, the legacy he left here. As well his presence has to be very, very attached to this football club. Also, thank you to him for everything he did at the club.

“Hopefully he’s going to leave here and be willing to spend more time with us and be more around us because he’s such a big influence for me personally in my career, the way I see the game, but as well for this football club.”

Arteta played under Wenger during the final five years of his career as a footballer between 2011 and 2016. The Spaniard made 150 appearances and won two FA Cups. Wenger named him Arsenal captain in 2014.

As for today, Arsenal are currently seven points clear at the top of the Premier League. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Eddie Nketiah all scored in the second half to complete a 3-1 comeback win on Monday. They’ll next visit Brighton on Saturday.