Kanu Nwankwo’s former club Arsenal to erect Wenger statue

Kanu Nwankwo’s former club Arsenal to erect Wenger statue
Credit: Icon Sport

Kanu Nwankwo and many Arsenal legends have had their request fulfilled by Arsenal as the club erects a statue of legendary Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger.

The Professor, as he is fondly called, managed Arsenal for over two decades from October 1996 to May 2018. In that time, he won the Premier League's only golden trophy, given to a team that finishes a full season unbeaten. He also won seven of Arsenal's 14 FA Cups.

The 73-year-old currently works with FIFA to develop the sport after changing the landscape of English football while managing Kanu Nwankwo and other legends at Arsenal.

Arsène Wenger story at Arsenal: Titles, signing Kanu Nwankwo and building the Emirates stadium

Arsène Wenger is regarded as the father of modern Arsenal.

Having started his management career in 1984 at AS Nancy, he spent eight years managing in France and Japan before being appointed by Arsenal in a surprising turn of events.

That appointment turned out to be the best thing to happen to the club. From October 1996 to May 2018 when the Frenchman retired from professional football management, he became the first non-British manager to win the top flight title in his second (and first full) season.

He also won the first of seven FA Cups he would add to the Gunners' collection.

Arsène Wenger became the first manager to go 49 games unbeaten in English football, leading to the league dishing out its only golden Premier League trophy to date.

He signed a number of stars including Kanu Nwankwo, who gained a new lease of life thanks to the French manager. Kanu Nwankwo's career almost came to an end a season prior to Wenger signing him as he was diagnosed with his congenital heart defect.

The former Arsenal manager gave him a chance and he spent three successful years at the club, delivering joy to the fans as well as a few trophies.

Arsène Wenger also helped build the new London Colney training centre which Arsenal uses to date, as well as the incredible Emirates Stadium which became their home from 2006 after Highbury.

Arsène Wenger's statue is now outside the Emirates Stadium in full view of fans and visitors as one of the statues of the club's heroes.

It is fitting to honour Wenger, says Arsenal chief

Everyone at the club which Kanu Nwankwo once called home is excited to have the statue of the legendary manager up at the club's home ground.

Nigerian fans of the club are also excited, having joined Kanu Nwankwo and other legends to call for an immortalisation of Wenger at the Emirates.

Tim Lewis, Arsenal's Executive Vice Chair, said after the unveiling of the statue: “We’re delighted to recognise and celebrate Arsène Wenger's outstanding leadership and career at Arsenal Football Club.

“Arsène’s contribution to, and achievements with, the club mark him out as the club's greatest manager. He treated the club and its supporters to many trophies and fantastic memories and brought a revolution in the running of the club, an unbeaten season and the move to Emirates Stadium.

“It is fitting, therefore, that as a mark of the club's enduring respect and gratitude a magnificent statue of Arsène now stands outside Emirates Stadium.”

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago