Arsenal have confirmed that manager Arsene Wenger will leave his role as manager at the end of the season.
Wenger who has come under increasing pressure as a result of Arsenal’s poor Premier League record in the last seasons announced that he would be leaving the club in a statement on the club’s official website:
“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 statement continued. “I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special.
“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support forever.”
Wenger, 68, has been with the North Londoners since October 1996 and is by far the longest-serving current manager in English soccer.
He will be out of contract at the end of the season.
Arsenal’s majority owner Stan Kroenke said it was “one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in the sport.
“One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsene has brought to the club on and off the pitch,” he said.
“His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched.
“Wenger won three Premier League titles, including going unbeaten for an entire season, seven FA Cups and took Arsenal into the Champions League for 20 years in a row.
They won the league and FA cup double in 1998 and 2002.The club said a successor would be appointed as soon as possible with German Thomas Tuchel, out of work since leaving Borussia Dortmund almost a year ago, installed as the early bookmakers’ favourite.