Wenger left the Emirates in 2018 and can now be found pushing a biennial World Cup as FIFA’s chief of global football development, but he could soon be returning to north London.
Ahead of the Gunners’ match with Newcastle, Arteta was asked about bringing his former boss back to the club in the future and the Spaniard hinted that he would be open to the idea.
What exact role that would be remains to be seen but Arteta seemed adamant that having the club legend back in any form would be a big help.
“Hopefully we can bring him close, he will have a great time around this place,” he said during his pre-match press conference last week.
“I can not tell you now, but he would be a great help for the club. Things take time. We would be delighted to have him much closer.”
In the wake of their 2-0 win against Newcastle, however, Keown warned Arteta off the move, citing concerns the Frenchman could interfere with team selections in the future.
It came after strong performances from Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares, two men who struggled against Liverpool, whom Arteta gave a second chance to.
“I wonder whether Wenger might have said to him, ‘Why are you not playing [Kieran] Tierney this week?’,” Keown said during BT Sports’ coverage of the game.
“I wonder if he would’ve said, ‘Why is Lokonga playing?’ Because I admire that he [Arteta] wants to stick with players, that’s what he wants.
“I’m not saying he’s blinkered. He’s saying I believe in you enough to play you again. Whereas I feel it’s very unfortunate for Tierney because he’s one of Arsenal’s very best players.
“And I think it might affect Tavares’ development but I think that call has to be made and it’s not been made today.”
Tavares claimed the assist for Bukayo Saka’s opening goal on Saturday in what was a dynamic and exciting display from the summer signing.
Many expected Tierney to return to the starting line-up following the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool, but Arteta kept faith in the youngster and it paid off handsomely.
During Match of the Day, Micah Richards spoke of how impressed he was with Tavares in the game.
“He was excellent and I’m not just doing it because he’s a full-back,” Richards said on Match of the Day. “He was one of the best players on the pitch.
“What I liked about him was he just didn’t stay, every opportunity he went forward and he went forward with quality.
“He’s keeping out Kieran Tierney who I really love. He’s started the last five games and everything he did in his game today was just quality. He today was brilliant, he really was.”