SportsArteta: Arsenal would be happy to see Wenger back

Arteta: Arsenal would be happy to see Wenger back

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Thursday that he hopes former coach Arsene Wenger returns to the Premier League club in the future, as the French coach enjoys respect at the club.

Wenger left Arsenal in 2018 after a 22-year stint as coach. The 72-year-old is currently working for FIFA and has since kept himself out of the club’s affairs, saying he did not want to appear to be still affecting the club.

“He would have had a great time seeing the environment he could create around him when he was here, because of the respect, admiration and love that everyone at the club has for what he has done,” Arteta told reporters. He has a time and he has to pick those dates. What I can say on my part and on behalf of everyone is that we would be happy to have him closer to us.”

The Spanish coach said that there are no new injuries before facing Newcastle United, bottom of the Premier League standings, on Saturday.

He added that midfielder Granit Xhaka is advancing on the planned schedule in order to recover from a knee injury and hopes to have the Swiss international back before the end of this year.

Initially, Xhaka, 29, was expected to be absent for three months after injuring his knee ligaments in a derby against Tottenham Hotspur last September.

“He is training and pushing himself hard to come back quickly. He is developing well and we hope to get him back before the end of the year,” Arteta added.

Fifth-placed Arsenal are looking to overcome their 4-0 loss at Liverpool last Saturday, and Arteta called on his players to rise to the challenge of competing with the best teams in the league.