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Wenger endorses Arteta for managerial role

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes captain Mikel Arteta has the qualities to be a manager once his playing career comes to an end.

Arteta is in the twilight of his career but the 33-year-old has made five Premier League appearances this season, all off the bench.

However, Wenger feels the veteran Spaniard can make the transition into management when he decides to hang up his boots.

"Mikel has a huge influence even when he is not playing," Wenger said. "He is super conscientious, and every morning two hours before training he prepares and that is absolutely right.

"Just through his behaviour, his focus on getting everything right in the team, he has a huge influence. He has great experience and is respected throughout the squad.

"I really hope Mikel considers going into coaching. When you manage, you want to see your players continue and see them give their experience and knowledge back.

"You want them to give their expertise of the way we want to play football and the way we want to behave. It would be great if someone like Mikel went into management, so somewhere the spirit of our game can survive through the players who have played for us."

Wenger added: "But at the moment I must say Mikel is still here as a football player. The first thing in life, when you sign the contract you have to give absolutely everything to the job you have signed for and I think he does that very well.

"He has the quality to be a manager in the future I'm sure, but at the moment he gives his focus on the job as a player and gives absolutely everything."