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'The Arsene Wenger Stadium' - Former Arsenal players call for tribute

The Gunners boss should have the Emirates Stadium renamed in his honour, according to Paul Merson and Alan Smith.

Arsene Wenger visits the Emirates Stadium during its construction.
Arsene Wenger visits the Emirates Stadium during its construction.

FORMER ARSENAL STARS Paul Merson and Alan Smith have called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed after departing manager Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman announced on Friday that he will leave Arsenal at the end of the season after winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups in his 22 years in charge.

And both Merson and Smith believe the most fitting tribute to Wenger would be to name their stadium in his honour as he leaves the club.

“They should drop the Emirates bit – they don’t need the money – and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium,” Merson, who played for Wenger, told Sky Sports News.

“That’s his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that.”

Smith added: “I go along with what Merse said. I think it’s a great shout – to name the stadium after him would be a fitting tribute.

“Obviously, clubs these days are unwilling to forego all of the millions that come with naming rights, but I think that would be fantastic.”

Smith is also hopeful that Arsenal can beat Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals and go on to win one last trophy for Wenger.

“Arsenal have only won a couple of European trophies in their history, so to do this would be a fitting end,” he said.

“You are going to see the stadium full for the home leg against Atletico. That might not have been the case if Arsene hadn’t decided to step down. The atmosphere will be fantastic I think.

“It’s going to be a celebration of the time at his club and that’s going to transfer to the pitch – you’d hope so.”

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