Ahead of his twentieth anniversary of managing the club in October, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could be about to embark on his final season.
After an initial decade bursting with success, Arsenal fans have become disgruntled with their long-serving leader. Despite some placing the blame on the likes of board member Ivan Gazidis, it’s clear that Wenger must win a major trophy in 2017 in order to leave a lasting legacy.
Unfortunately, this summer’s transfer window has not been kind to the Gunners. Jamie Vardy and Gonzalo Higuain are just two of the many transfer targets the club have missed out on.
Granit Xhaka’s £30m move from Borussia Monchengladbach was supposed to set the tone for the level of signings expected to arrive at the Emirates, but only Takuma Asano and Rob Holding have followed.
Therefore, a usual finish within the top four with no trophy could mean the end of Wenger’s time at Arsenal. Who could replace him? Here’s our candidates.
This certainly would be a coup for the Gunners despite the enormity of the club. A World Cup winning manager, you will struggle to find many football fans who believe that Low is not among the greatest coaches around. Low has been the manager of Germany since 2006 and recently led his nation to the semi-finals of the European Championship in a team containing Arsenal star Mesut Ozil.
He has been made favourite by Oddschecker to replace Wenger despite pledging that he will remain an international manager at least until the next major tournament in Russia.
Mancini received considerable praise for the job he did with Manchester City, and it is fair to say he left with his reputation strengthened despite being ousted in favour of Manuel Pellegrini. The Italian, who played as a forward during his playing career, took a full page in the Manchester Evening News a week after his departure from the Etihad to thank the fans.
It’s evident supporters of the Citizens appreciated Mancini’s work by reciprocating his act in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. Mancini has been the ideal man to steady Inter Milan, and El Nerrazzurri look strong ahead of the 2016-17 campaign. With the experience he already boasts in the Premier League, Mancini would be an excellent man to lead Arsenal.
De Boer left Ajax at the end of last season, earned the utmost respect possible for his exciting ideas and insistence on developing and utilising the Dutch club’s young players, something that Arsenal fans will surely see as a positive attribute. He deserves an opportunity at a larger club and the Gunners could be a perfect fit.
Following an indifferent few years which culminated in his removal as manager of Greece, there were not many hopeful faces at the King Power following Ranieri’s appointment. The rest, as they say, is history. Ranieri’s insistence on each player of his team working closely together to form a cohesive unit was one of the main elements as to why Leicester were so difficult to beat last season.
Should Riyad Mahrez join Arsenal, who’s to say Ranieri will not follow his key man a year down the line? A move is certainly not out of the question with chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha unlikely to stand in the title winning manager’s way if he wished to leave.
An unlikely contender for the throne. Howe’s rise as manager, and by extension Bournemouth’s success has been nothing short of remarkable, and when Callum Wilson and Max Gradel suffered season-ending injuries during 2015-16, Howe’s resilience shone through. His personal attributes is reflected in his management and in his teams, and is without a doubt in my mind why Bournemouth survived their debut season in the Premier League.
A man who favours fluid, attacking and attractive football when possible, at Arsenal Howe would not have to implement so many defensive safeguards in his team with the quality of player some levels above to what is available to him with the Cherries. It would be a bold and brave choice, but an exciting one.