Arsenal shareholder Usmanov gives backing to "main asset" Arsene Wenger

Russian thinks it is imperative the manager remains the same

Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov in the stands. Picture by: Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport

Arsenal minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov says Arsenal "must retain" Arsene Wenger.

The manager has been under pressure after a faltering Premier League title challenge as he approaches 20 years in charge, but Russian billionaire Usmanov who owns an estimated 30% stake of the club thinks Wenger needs to be part of the future.

"Arsenal’s results are stable. They are always among the leaders of the English Premier League. This is a good and large sports business project, and I am pleased with it," Usmanov said in an interview with Russian TV channel Russia-24.

"The only thing is that today such situation occurred, like in any sport, there are ups and downs. The club must retain its major symbol and main asset - manager Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal are third in the Premier League this season and have already been eliminated from the cup competitions.