Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has described Arsene Wenger as 'irreplaceable' in the wake of the Frenchman's resignation.
Wenger will step away from the coaching position at the club at the end of the season, after a 22-year stint in charge, having announced as much in a statement on Friday morning. The Gunners' Chief Exec held a press conference on Friday afternoon in which he paid tribute to his friend and spoke about the way forward.
"It’s 10 years, it’s not just a working relationship, it’s personal," he said in quotes cited by the Mirror. "For me it’s been a highly emotional day.It feels very big. At the moment we are still assimilating that. Arsene is going to feel the full force of the club behind him.We’re going to take what Arsene has done forward.
"I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his 22 years. He is extraordinary. There is something more coming out, there is affection. He was always brave enough to be true to his ambition.
"People use the words football philosophy lightly, but Arsenal truly have one.He has played some of the best football we have ever seen. He has transformed the beautiful game.Arsenal fans take enormous pride in that. We say, thank you Arsene.
"He has inspired people around him. He does this with his human qualities. He is able to make people believe they can achieve great things, on and off the pitch."
Gazidis also noted that it would be impossible to find a replacement for the 68-year-old, who played a huge part in revolutionizing English football. The manager led the Gunners to 10 major trophies in his 22 years, with three coming in the form of Premier League titles and the other seven being FA Cups.
While he admitted that the club will begin their search for a new manager immediately, Gazidis declared that everything would be kept in-house and he wouldn't be speaking on it publicly.
"We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger," he continued. "You don’t find a replacement for Arsene Wenger, you find a new path forward."
"We’re going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don’t want to be making public comments about it. We haven’t had any discussions to date regarding that.
"People use the words football philosophy lightly, but Arsenal truly have one. He has played some of the best football we have ever seen. He has transformed the beautiful game."
It is still unclear whether the Frenchman will keep coaching or step away from the game altogether. But his contribution to the English game is immeasurable and he will leave behind a legacy at the Emirates, as well as huge void that the club will have difficulty filling.