The League Manager's Association has hailed Arsene Wenger for his achievements during his 22-year spell at Arsenal after the shock announcement that he will leave at the end of the season.
Wenger announced on Friday that he will step aside from the north London side when Arsenal's campaign concludes next month, following a successful period with the Gunners where he won three Premier League titles and a record seven FA Cups.
Plaudits have poured in from across football following the news, with tributes made by former players, managers and other figures from the game, and the LMA has added their views in a tribute to the 68-year-old Frenchman.
"Arsene Wenger is without question one of the most significant managers to have graced the game of professional football here in England," LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson said in a statement.
"From his arrival at Arsenal, it was patently clear that here was someone with tremendous foresight, fortitude and imagination.
"A man of high principles, he was never prepared to compromise his beliefs and, in so doing, he enhanced the history and reputation of one of the world’s great clubs."
823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018
Wenger arrived at Arsenal as a relatively unknown manager from Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1996 and quickly lead to widespread changes in English football, rejuvenating the training structure at Arsenal and leading the club from Highbury to Emirates Stadium in 2006.
Highlights of his tenure include a remarkable 49-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League between 2003-04, clinching the title without losing a single game, and consistent appearances in the Champions League- another aspect of his success that was praised by the LMA.
"His record of Champions League qualifications combined with his domestic competition success stands Arsene alongside the greats of English club football management," LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan added.
"Arsene stands for integrity, loyalty and excellence. His contribution to the game and football management in England cannot be underestimated.
"His achievements at Arsenal are a testimony to his commitment and love for the club."
Arsenal tackle West Ham at Emirates Stadium this weekend, before hosting Atletico Madrid on Thursday in the semi-finals of the Europa League- which will be Wenger's final home European match in charge of the Gunners.
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