FORMER Arsenal boss David Dein is trying to convince ‘ailing’ Arsene Wenger to return to the club to see his statue unveiled.
The creation of an artistic tribute to ex-manager Wenger is well advanced.
But Dein, who was a former Gunners vice-chairman, claims the Frenchman has yet to give the green light to a ceremony because he is still angry at how he was pushed out in 2018.
Dein told fans at an Arsenal Supporters’ Trust event: “He’s just as injured as I am. I don’t think he was treated well.
“I think he’s still suffering from it. He never really got a chance to discuss an alternative role at the club.
“It caused friction. There was also interference from board members in what he was doing.
“He was having a difficult time. I really hope he comes back.
“It’s no secret, there’s a statue awaiting its unveiling. I hope he decides to do that. For what he has delivered to the club he certainly deserves it.
“I know he’s split in two. He hasn’t agreed to do it yet. I urge him to try and encourage him that he should do it.
“It should be there, a lasting reminder of what he delivered to the club.”
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Wenger, who turned 73 on Saturday, won three Prem titles, a record seven FA Cups and was in charge of the famous Invincibles during his 22 years at the club.
Arsenal are in direct contact with the Frenchman, now head of Fifa’s global football development, to unveil the statue sometime next year.
And Dein insists he has nothing against owner Stan Kroenke and son Josh and is enjoying the club’s current ‘renaissance’.
He revealed how Edu, Arsenal’s current technical director, had a difficult start with the club.
The former Gunners midfielder was due to join Brazil club Corinthians in the summer of 2000.
Dein said: “He was an unusual transfer. At 3am I received a call from the immigration officer in Terminal 3 saying ‘Mr. Dein, we have one of your players here’.
“I said, ‘What’s the problem?’.
“‘Well, his passport isn’t really good. We have to send him back home.’”
Edu was entitled to a European passport due to his Portuguese and Italian ancestry, but the number on the document was wrong, exposing it as a fake.
Dein said: “The agent had tried to expedite it.
“I immediately spoke to Arsene and said, ‘What do you want to do? It could take six to nine months. Arsene said: ‘No, we will definitely sign him.’
“So I said to Edu at the time, ‘Don’t worry, go back, we’ll sort your papers, and you’re welcome whenever you come in.'”
Edu was detained at Heathrow overnight but was finally signed in January 2001.
He was part of the 2002 doubles winning squad and the famous Invincibles of 2003-4.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6506542/arsene-wenger-refusing-invitation-arsenal-statue/ Arsene Wenger, who declines invitation to see his new Arsenal statue unveiled as ex-boss, is too ‘bruised’ by the sacking.