Mikel Arteta says Arsene Wenger made him dream of playing for Arsenal and heralded the impact his former boss has had on his own managerial career.
Wenger has been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame alongside long-time rival and former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Fergsuon.
The Frenchman won three league titles in charge of the Gunners and managed current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, having brought him to the club from Everton in 2011.
And Arteta says the recognition of Wenger is fully deserved.
“I had a dream to play for this club and that was because of the way Arsenal played under Arsene,” Arteta said.
“It was so attractive and I think every player wanted to play here. I had a phenomenal time with him and I learned a lot.
“That pushed me at the end of my career to become a coach, so he had a big influence on me. We had a conversation and I asked him what he would do in my position because I had doubts about whether to continue or start my journey as a coach.
“He helped me at the club and at the academy to do my badges, and he was an inspiration and always supportive. I think he inspired every player and every member of staff that has worked with him.
“The way he spoke, what he transmitted as a coach, the way his teams played; I think he’s been a phenomenal influence in world football.
“He had a vision that was much wider than any other manager had at the time. I think England and the Premier League have to be very grateful forever to this man.
“It is an incredible and difficult achievement to main that level of consistency, in this league in particular. It’s a recipe that Sir Alex and Arsene have kept very quiet because no-one else has done it, and I don’t know nowadays if it’s even possible to do it.”