Legendary former Arsenal midfielder and captain, Patrick Vieira is reportedely being lined up as Arsene Wenger’s replacement if the long-serving Frenchman is to step down.

According to Daily Mail, New York City FC manager and former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira is in the mix to replace Arsene Wenger as the Gunners’ manager, if his compatriot is to step down from his post at the end of the season. Vieira spent nine years at Arsenal under Wenger and won the Premier League thrice during his time.

Arsene Wenger’s post as the manager has come under a lot of scrutiny of late after a dismal season in the Premier League during which Arsenal have dropped down to sixth spot on the table. Additionally, the fact that the Gunners missed out on playing in the Champions League for the first time in Wenger’s tenure has worsened things.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Fans and pundits alike have questioned Arsene Wenger’s position after a disappointing season for Arsenal. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images)

The Frenchman’s role was called into question by many pundits and experts alike at the beginning of this year after a string of disappointing results. The failure to challenge for the title as well as a top-four place being virtually out of reach has seen the fans demanding the ouster of their long-serving manager.

Since retiring from playing, Vieira spent two years in charge of Manchester City’s development squad before taking over as New York City FC’s manager in 2016.  But that is all the experience the former Arsenal captain has in terms of club management, and it would surprise many if such an inexperienced manager was appointed as Wenger’s successor.

There have been other high profile managers linked with Wenger’s position, including Carlo Ancelotti, Hoffenheim’s  Julian Nagelsmann, Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers, etc. But in appointing any of them or even Vieira, the big stumbling block is Wenger himself, as it’s still not clear if he would step down from his role in the summer.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 8: Manager Patrick Vieira of Manchester City watches on during the Premier League International Cup Final match between Manchester City and FC Porto at the Manchester City Academy Stadium on May 8, 2015 in Mancheter, England. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Arsenal linked Patrick Vieira spent two years as Manchester City’s elite development coach before taking over as New York City’s  manager in 2016. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images)

Wenger has, time and again, suggested the idea of honouring his contracts, and with his current deal, he still has a year left. Wenger holds a lot of power at the North London club, and it would not be a simple task of just sacking him and appointing a new manager. Despite a downfall in his reputation as Arsenal’s manager, there has been no suggestion from him or the club that this would be his last season in charge.

The Daily Mail report also claims that Wenger would not be sacked at the end of this season, irrespective of the results in the Europa League. Signing another manager would be out of the question unless he steps down voluntarily or else suitors, as well as the club, need to wait another year when his contract expires.

Only the end of the season will tell us more about the happenings at Arsenal and their managerial situation. In the present case, it looks like Wenger is set to stay on for another season, with the hope of bringing success to Arsenal and prolonging his long-stay by another year. If not, we could well see Vieira making his way back to Arsenal as the club’s new manager.

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