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Wenger identifies ideal choice to follow Arteta as Arsenal manager

Arsene Wenger is backing Mikel Arteta to win the Premier League as Arsenal manager, and then he's got a perfect successor in mind should the Spaniard move on.

There is optimism at the Emirates Stadium that Arteta can lead Arsenal back to the top of the table and clinch the league title for the first time since Wenger's Gunners won it in their unbeaten 2003/04 season.

The former Arsenal captain only took over last December, but he has already led the club to FA Cup glory, while there is a strong hope that they can maintain a strong run towards the top four this season.

Arteta is in the midst of a rebuild at the club, but with impressive signings such as Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes added to the squad – as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signing a new contract – then spirits are high.

Wenger shares that optimism too, telling The Guardian : “I think there is a good team spirit and they have a good chance to do well.

“I believe it will not be very difficult to improve on the number of points they got last season.

“But I’m convinced Arsenal can be in the top four, if not more. Why not more?"

Wenger added that it is refreshing to see someone with Arsenal "values" in charge such as Arteta, and when asked if Thierry Henry – perhaps his greatest ever Arsenal player, and these days a coach at Montreal Impact – could one day follow in Arteta's footsteps he certainly approved.

“Well, I wish," he added.

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“I hope that Thierry Henry is successful in his career as a manager, and if he’s successful as a manager he might one day come back to Arsenal.

“But I especially wish that we go back to win the championship before that happens.

“For example, now we have Mikel Arteta in charge, why should we not do it? A club is about identity.

“Identity is about values and values are about the people who carry these values. And so it’s important there is a continuity on that front for me.”

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