Arsene Wenger takes some credit for Arsenal comeback under Mikel Arteta and Edu

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Arsene Wenger takes some credit for Arsenal comeback under Mikel Arteta and Edu
Arsene Wenger takes some credit for Arsenal comeback under Mikel Arteta and Edu

Arsene Wenger is allowing himself to take a little bit of credit for Arsenal's growing resurgence by reminding fans that he was the man to first bring Mikel Arteta and Edu to the club.

Having both been signed as players, Arteta is now the Gunners' manager and Edu is supporting him as the club's technical director. As a statue of the Wenger was unveiled at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday, the ex-Arsenal boss took stock of the Gunners' progress which has seen them tipped to once again challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title this season.

"I worked for this club when I had the experience and capacity to look at the bigger picture," Wenger told club media. "Many times I said I want to work and prepare this club to go even higher up after me, and I wish every day that happens now.

"I feel that the effort and the suffering was worth it. Now the club is in good hands; it's in the hands of two ex-players in Mikel Arteta and Edu; I bought Edu when he was at Corinthians and Mikel Arteta from Everton, and they are guiding the club well. I can look at it in a relaxed way!

"I feel that Mikel is doing well, making the right decisions, and having an organised team who, for me, can now challenge for the championship. We did it last year, let's get over the line this year.

Mikel Arteta's dream Arsenal line up as last-gasp January transfers are secured eideziqkeiqhhinvMikel Arteta's dream Arsenal line up as last-gasp January transfers are secured

"I'm confident because last year with eight games to go, I always felt we would do it. We invested again a lot this year and strengthened the squad well, so overall I'm very happy with the three signings. We have all the tools to do well and to challenge for the championship."

Arsene Wenger takes some credit for Arsenal comeback under Mikel Arteta and EduMikel Arteta learned from Arsene Wenger (Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Arsene Wenger takes some credit for Arsenal comeback under Mikel Arteta and EduEdu says that he treated him "like a son" (Offside/Getty Images)

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Both Arteta and Edu gained a great deal of knowledge about life on and off the pitch thanks to working under Wenger. "Towards the end of my playing career, I started to speak with Arsene about going into coaching and management myself, and he told me he had already anticipated that," Arteta recently explained.

"Even the first year when I got here, he said to me, 'One day you are going to be a manager', and I wasn't really thinking about that at that time." The Spaniard went on to say: "I learned so much from him and if I had to pick one of his many great values, it is how loyal he was and how much he defended the club, its players and football in general."

Edu, on the other hand, forged a close personal connection to the legendary Frenchman. "I received a lot of support from Arsene, the period of adaptation was not easy," the Gunners chief told ESPN in 2016 before he assumed his current role.

"The weather wasn't easy either, because I arrived when it was winter in England and summer in Brazil. I learned a lot from Arsene Wenger and I carry with me what he taught me until today. He treated me like a son when I lost my sister, he was a guy that embraced not only me but my entire family."

Nathan Ridley

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