Dennis Bergkamp admits he would love to return to Arsenal in a coaching capacity, but he is unlikely to do so for at least another three years.
The Dutch legend spent 11 years with the Gunners from 1995, playing an integral part in three Premier League title successes and four FA Cup wins. Indeed, since he announced his retirement in 2006, the Londoners are yet to add to their honours list.
Bergkamp was rewarded with a testimonial match which also marked the opening of the Emirates Stadium in July 2006, and although many expected him to be handed a place on Arsene Wenger’s backroom staff, he turned down the offer of becoming a club scout and instead, two years later, undertook a fast-track coaching diploma before accepting an offer to become assistant to Johan Neeskens for the Netherlands B team.
In December 2010 he returned to first club Ajax where he worked with the Under-19 side, and then the following August he was named assistant to first team coach Frank de Boer. Now 44, the former forward has revealed he has no immediate plans to leave Amsterdam, but admits he wants to return to Arsenal in the future, where he would love to be joined by former team-mates such as Thierry Henry and Tony Adams.
“At Arsenal it was a good click,” Bergkamp is quoted in the Daily Telegraph. “I always enjoyed it. I never had a bad day there. It is always on my mind. It is part of my ambition to come back at some stage. I can’t really plan ahead. I know I will be here [at Ajax] for at least another three or five years and then I don’t know. I don’t see myself being at Ajax for the rest of my coaching career. I don’t see myself as a manager.
“I see myself as being part of the coaching staff. I really enjoy that role, especially the individual training with the strikers. I’ve spoken to or have heard about others [former Arsenal colleagues] who would also love to come back. Steve Bould is there now which is excellent. I’ve spoken to Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry would love to come back to Arsenal one day. Tony [Adams] is a big option as well.”
The possibility of Bergkamp returning to the Gunners has certainly gone down well with the fans, many of whom have taken to twitter to express their thoughts. @VaGooner10 said: “Would love Bergkamp back at Arsenal! Just imagine the players learning from him. Amazing player”, whilst @GoonersPage wrote: “Honestly, if Bergkamp replaces [Liam] Brady in youth development, he will be a future manager.”