Arsene Wenger says Mikel Arteta has “all of the qualities” needed to succeed him as Arsenal manager.
Former captain Arteta is among the candidates to replace Wenger, who left at the end of the season after 22 years in charge.
Spaniard Arteta, 36, played 150 games for Arsenal and is currently a coach at champions Manchester City.
“He was a leader, has a good passion for game, knows the club and knows what is important at the club,” Wenger said.
Arteta, who has never managed a team, took up a role at City under manager Pep Guardiola in 2016.
Wenger, 68, said: “Overall he has the qualities but I don’t want to influence that publicly.
“I believe it is important they make their choice in object way and after made that decision I will support him.”
Arsenal have also contacted another former captain, Patrick Vieira, as part of the process to replace Wenger.
They remain confident of naming a successor before the World Cup begins on 14 June.
Wenger said he has not decided whether his next job will be as a manager or at boardroom level, having previously said he will continue to work in football following his Arsenal departure.
He also said it would be “difficult” to manage another team in England because of his time at Arsenal.
“The Premier League is the most attractive place to be, but managing in different cultures and environments is something that is very interesting,” he said.