Arsenal news: Arsene Wenger has ‘fire in his belly’ to stay beyond this season, says former Gunners chief David Dein

Dein appointed the Frenchman 20 years ago, a decision which led to three Premier League titles

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger retains a “fire in his belly” to succeed at Arsenal beyond this season despite reports linking him to the England job, according to former chairman David Dein.

Dein appointed the Frenchman 20 years ago, a decision which led to three Premier League titles and six FA Cup lifts, but there are concerns that Wenger may be persuaded to see out his contract at the Emirates to succeed Sam Allardyce at the FA

Wenger has come under fire in recent seasons with it now being over a decade since the last title triumph in north London but Dein, speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention, has backed the 66-year-old to continue in his post for the foreseeable future.

Quizzed on whether he thinks Wenger will stay with the Gunners beyond this summer, when his current deal expires, Dein said: “Only he will answer that, he's his own man and it is his decision. 

“It depends how he feels during the season but he's very fit, he's very determined and he still has the fire in his belly. 

“I always say that he won't be a difficult act to follow – he will be an impossible act to follow.”

Speaking ahead of the Premier League clash with Burnley this weekend, an opportunity to win a fifth consecutive match, Wenger tried to explain the secrets of his longevity at Arsenal.

“The board, to stick by me,” he revealed. “I believe this club is brave. We have shown for years that we can have a good togetherness at the club. We keep our feet on the ground and fight together.

“I have a passion for the game and I always have the desire to be better tomorrow than yesterday. It’s certainly unusual in the modern world. 

“I think stability is very important as well in a company and the values, people who carry the values. For me a big club is first about values and its identity and the privilege I have to carry these values is very unusual in the modern game.”