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Arsenal legend pays tribute to ‘father figure’ Arsene Wenger

Arsenal cult hero Nwankwo Kanu has paid tribute to Arsene Wenger after his last ever game at The Emirates, saying he believes the Frenchman was a ‘father figure’ to many of his players at the club.

Kanu played under Wenger for six seasons at what was then Highbury, establishing himself as a favourite with the Arsenal fans.

The Nigerian won two Premier League titles with the Gunners and two FA Cups, scoring just shy of 40 times in 178 appearances – most of those coming from the bench.

Now a UNICEF ambassador and owner of his own soccer academy in his home country, Kanu has hailed the role that Arsene Wenger played in his successful career, both inside and out of the game.

“He’s been like a father figure for all of us,” Kanu told Arsenal Player. “For me, when I was at Inter Milan he did everything to try to get me to Arsenal for six months. That’s the kind of person you want to be and want to support.

“At the time, nobody believed in me. They were like, ‘You’re coming out from hospital, can you play football?’ But he believed in me and when I came here, I didn’t disappoint him. That’s why I’m here today.”

Wenge rhas given a brilliant send-off from The Emirates as his side thrashed Burnley 5-0 on yesterday afternoon.

Emotions ran high after the final whistle when the Frenchman addressed and waved goodbye to the Arsenal fans, many of whom stayed for hours after the game singing his name.

“I love [the celebrations of him at the Emirates],” continued Kanu, “It’s a very good show of respect. I’ve seen a lot of people wearing red saying ‘Merci Arsène’.

“After the game, nobody left their seat. They’re all here to support him, say goodbye and thank him for all that he has done for the club.”

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