Following Mikel Arteta’s recent departure and confirmation that the midfielder has more or less retired from playing football, Arsene Wenger has hailed the 34-year-old’s leadership.

It’s been rumoured for a while now that Arteta would be going into coaching after he stopped playing at Arsenal with numerous clubs, including Manchester City, eager to bring him on board. The Spaniard has confirmed that the door is still open in north London and now Wenger’s recent comments about what a good coach he would make suggest that perhaps Arteta isn’t heading for the exit just yet.

“First of all, he was the captain of the team, so he has leadership qualities,” Wenger said to Arsenal Player.

“He is a winner and he is focused every day to do well.

“He has an impact on his partners. That is a little bit difficult to explain sometimes, but I believe he is highly focused on football. He has a passion, like Spanish people do, for the game.

“When you get to 30 you start to envisage your life and your future without playing football. Slowly it matures inside you and there was never a doubt in my mind, the way I see him behave every day, that he would finish in football, and I think he will do very well.”

515689240 arsene wenger manager of arsenal speaks with gettyimages
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal speaks with Mikel Arteta and Gabriel Paulista of Arsenal during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at London Colney on March 15, 2016 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Although it seems pretty clear that Arteta will not be returning as a player as his fitness has dropped, it would be brilliant to see him begin his coaching badges at London Colney. He’s been a huge asset to the club and I’m sure he can continue to do so. Allowing him to go to our rivals wouldn’t be wise, in my humble opinion.