By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger is a fan of Andre Villas-Boas but he admits he was surprised when Chelsea appointed him as their new manager.

The 34-year-old Portuguese worked at Stamford Bridge during Jose Mourinho's time in charge and returned to west London in the summer as the replacement for Carlo Ancelotti after enjoying huge success with Porto.

Villas-Boas has guided Chelsea into the top three after nine Premier League games and he has an admirer in Wenger.

"I'm surprised [he was appointed] because it is a big task and a big responsibility for a young man," said the Frenchman.

"But they knew him because he had already worked there before so they must have detected qualities that make them feel he is competent enough to do it.

"I like Villas-Boas because he is a man who speaks his mind. He is intelligent and likes to play as well. He likes to play football, he likes to go forward so it should be an interesting game on Saturday."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 28 Oct 2011