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Arsenal’s Wenger Retiring After 22 Yrs

Arsene Wenger will step down as manager of Arsenal this summer after 22 years at the club.

The Gunners released a statement via their official website on Friday that revealed this campaign would be Wenger’s last as chief at the Emirates Stadium, and the Frenchman explained his decision to step down:

After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season.
 
“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.
 
“I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.

The 68-year-old went on to thank all members of the “special” club he joined in October 1996, signing off: “To all the Arsenal lovers, take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.”

Arsenal are currently sixth in the Premier League, 14 points below North London rival Tottenham Hotspur in fourth. The Gunners face Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League, soon to be their last remaining route to next season’s UEFA Champions League.

It would present Le Professeur with one final opportunity to recoup some of the prestige he enjoyed for much of his Arsenal tenure.

Last season’s run to fifth in the Premier League saw Wenger finish outside the top four for the first time in his Arsenal career, and the same looks likely again.

Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other person after overtaking Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson earlier this term.

The Frenchman left Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight after 18 months to replace Bruce Rioch at Highbury in 1996, and the almost immediate effect he had in turning Arsenal’s fortunes around was immense.

It took Wenger only a season to end the club’s seven-year wait for a title, and they went on to finish in the Premier League’s top two for eight successive seasons, winning it three times in that span.

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