After long-standing speculation and many calls from fans, Arsene Wenger finally announced that he will step down as Arsenal boss following the conclusion of the 2017/18 season this summer.
Following 22 years with the Gunners, the experienced French tactician will undoubtedly go down as a club legend and one of the greatest and most influential managers in Premier League history. But his untimely announcement is set to plunge the London club into further trouble, as they seek a last-minute replacement for their long-term future.
Arsene-Wenger by Paul Blank (CC BY 2.5)
With the search now ongoing and a list of big names and surprise managers being tipped to take over, here are four potential replacements for Arsenal’s longest ever serving coach this summer.
Patrick Vieira is currently an outside 28/1 with bet365 in the football betting to become Wenger’s successor at the Emirates, with the club legend having been undertaking his early coaching duties at New York City in the MLS.
Many fans have called for the Frenchman to take the reins at the club where he made his name as a Premier League midfield legend, while Thierry Henry is linked with being his assistant if that were to come fruition.
Of course, Vieira lacks experience at the top level when it comes to football management, but he would undoubtedly gain the respect of the players upon his return to the club. Plus, he’s likely to have a strong attitude, similar to when he was a player, something which the Gunners need in the current climate.
Current Liverpool assistant coach Zeljko Buvac became a shock name to be linked with replacing Wenger after the Frenchman made his dramatic announcement.
Labelled by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp as ‘the Brain’, Buvac is being primed for a truly surprising switch to the Emirates. Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has recently insisted that he is the man for the job, but it’s a business move that will cause plenty of concern among supporters.
Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has been out of a job since being dismissed by German giants Bayern Munich last year after a run of poor results in the Bundesliga.
With vast experience of lifting football’s greatest trophies with the likes of AC Milan and Real Madrid, Arsenal fans would surely welcome the Italian tactician with open arms this summer.
Ancelotti is the main pick by Gunners supporters and it’s a potential recruitment that would bolster the club’s chances of challenging in the Premier League and in Europe next season and beyond.
After much success at Barcelona earlier in his managerial career, Luis Enrique has emerged as one of the front-runners to replace Wenger at the Arsenal helm.
The 47-year-old Spaniard left the Catalan club last year after his contract at the Nou Camp expired and a switch to England’s top-flight with Arsenal is widely expected.
Wenger’s successor has a tough task ahead of them, but Enrique looks to be a suitable choice, with his style of play also what the London outfit desire as well.