Cape Town - Former Arsenal and Nigeria striker Nwankwo Kanu has hailed the impact that departing Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had on his career in his youth.
Kanu was at the Emirates Stadium last weekend to watch Wenger's last home game in charge which resulted in a 5-0 demolition of Burnley.
The retired Super Eagles star, who was a part of the unbeaten 'invincibles' side of 2003/04, said that the Frenchman believed in him when others didn't when he had to undergo heart surgery as a young player.
"He was like a father figure for all of us. For me, when I was at Inter Milan he did everything to try to get me to Arsenal for six months," Kanu said as quoted from the club's official website.
"That’s the kind of person you want to be and want to support.
"At the time, nobody believed in me. They were like, ‘You’re coming out from hospital, can you play football?’ But he believed in me and when I came here, I didn't disappoint him.
"I love (the celebrations of him at the Emirates). It's a very good show of respect. I've seen a lot of people wearing red saying ‘Merci Arsène’. After the game, nobody left their seat.
"They’re all here to support him, say goodbye and thank him for all that he has done for the club."