In Brief

Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal: reactions, tweets and quotes

Players, managers and fans have their say on the outgoing Gunners boss

After nearly 22 years in the Arsenal manager’s chair, Arsene Wenger announced today that he will leave the club at the end of the season. 

Appointed in October 1996, Wenger “transformed the identity” of Arsenal, said majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, leading the Gunners to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his tenure. He was also credited as one of the masterminds behind Arsenal’s move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.

But in the past couple of seasons it’s been evident that Wenger’s time was coming to an end. This morning he issued a statement saying it was the right time to step down after “many memorable years” at the club. 

Here we look at how players, managers, clubs and fans are reacting to Wenger’s announcement.

Wenger to leave Arsenal: players’ reactions

Per Mertesacker, Arsenal club captain: “One major reason why I’m here is because of him. It’s been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now. He’s been the major figure for this club for over 20 years. He’s been so impressive for me and he’s trusted me so much throughout my career, in bringing me here, giving me the opportunity to play here and making me captain even when I was injured. He also gave me a future role here at the club, so I’m very grateful and humbled for the opportunity he gave to me. It is a sad day for me but we’re also moving forward for the future.”

Thierry Henry, former Arsenal striker: “It is a sad day for me to see the big man leaving the club, and happy one in a way that people give him the exit he deserves. Recently it has been hard for him and the club. Starting from Sunday, against West Ham, I hope people go to the game and not only see him in one of his last games at the Emirates and to support the team, but also to give him a good exit. I did not expect it, he will have his reasons, it is a weird one for me.”

Hector Bellerin, Arsenal defender: “Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies boss.” 

Alex Iwobi, Arsenal midfielder: “For everything you’ve done for Arsenal Football Club, for trusting me as a teenager, for giving me the opportunity to express myself and grow both as a footballer and as a person, I will forever be grateful to you boss. Thank you so much!” 

Rob Holding, Arsenal defender: “Forever thankful to the boss for bringing me to this great club. Now let’s end the season on a high for him!”

Fellow managers have their say

Sir Alex Ferguson, former Manchester United boss: “I am really happy for Arsene Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that [he] has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal.”

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City: “He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League thanks to what he has done. These people are necessary in football. It was a pleasure to compete against him. I wish him all the best in the future. Hopefully he can be involved in the game in a different way.”

Jose Mourinho, Manchester United: “I am really happy for him. I am pretty sure that we as a club, and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex’s era, will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves.”

Antonio Conte, Chelsea: “I think we must pay tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. He and [Sir Alex] Ferguson, we are talking about the last two managers to stay for such long time at a club. Twenty-two years for Arsenal, it is great. It is fantastic and a fantastic story. He won a lot with the club and for that reason he deserves a great tribute. As a manager he had a great influence on football. He tried to play good football, play creative football and offensive football. He deserves a great tribute.”

David Moyes, West Ham (who play Arsenal on Sunday): “He’s been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. He’s a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement.”

Club reactions on Twitter

Arsenal fan reactions

Arsenal’s next manager: betting odds

We look at the latest odds on who will become the next Gunners boss. Prices as of 20 April.

Oddschecker

  • Brendan Rodgers: 11/2
  • Thomas Tuchel: 6/1
  • Patrick Vieira: 6/1 
  • Joachim Loew: 8/1 
  • Carlo Ancelotti: 10/1
  • Luis Enrique: 12/1
  • Massimiliano Allegri: 16/1
  • Rafa Benitez: 16/1
  • Diego Simeone: 20/1  

Sky Bet

  • Patrick Vieira: 5/1
  • Brendan Rodgers: 10/1
  • Carlo Ancelotti: 5/1
  • Thomas Tuchel: 6/1
  • Joachim Loew: 8/1
  • Luis Enrique: 10/1
  • Massimiliano Allegri: 12/1
  • Leonardo Jardim: 14/1
  • Diego Simeone: 16/1 

Paddy Power

  • Brendan Rodgers: 5/2
  • Thomas Tuchel: 5/1 
  • Carlo Ancelotti: 5/1 
  • Luis Enrique: 11/2
  • Patrick Vieira: 11/2
  • Joachim Loew: 7/1 
  • Leonardo Jardim: 15/2
  • Massimiliano Allegri: 8/1 

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