It's looking likely that Arsene Wenger could step down as Arsenal manager next summer
Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal in 1996 and has long been regarded as part of the furniture at Highbury and now the Emirates. Indeed, many young supporters won’t remember a time when the Gunners were managed by anyone else, with the Frenchman having seen a multitude of top flight managers come and go yet he has remained a constant.
However, all good things must come to an end and it appears that Wenger could well be leaving Arsenal FC at the end of this season. That is when his latest contract expires and there is every indication that the 66-year-old will step aside and let someone else take the reins of this prestigious club.
Indeed, a growing number of supporters feel as though Wenger is holding back the club in this modern age of megabucks derived from TV money. While there has been a drip feed of signings on an annual basis, they have still been modest in relation to the way that other Premier League clubs use a budget.
The big question is naturally who could possibly replace Le Boss at the Emirates? Eddie Howe was linked with the non-vacant position recently although the Bournemouth coach was quick to pour hot water on any suggestion that he would leave Bournemouth right now. Indeed, the former Burnley boss seems incredibly loyal to his cause on the south coast and perhaps the London outfit will have to look elsewhere.
The question is whether a new manager would come along and use Wenger’s expertise in the short-term or instead have a clean break where he’s free to take control of transfers, coaching and team selection.
The bookmakers have been running a Next Arsenal Manager market, with Paddy Power offering 7/1 about Howe replacing Wenger although those odds hardly suggest that a deal has been done or even discussed.
The North London club will want a long-term successor for their current manager although Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure at Old Trafford has seen David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and now Jose Mourinho inherit the hot seat. It’s not that easy to manufacture longevity and perhaps Arsenal missed the boat by not appointing Jurgen Klopp.
Joachim Low is another name on the bookies shortlist, although the German is committed to the national team until the 2018 World Cup and that would mean Wenger staying on for another year if the Germany coach was going to arrive at the Emirates.
Frank De Boer is a 14/1 poke, with Roberto Mancini also available at this price. Thierry Henry is a 16/1 shot and he’s looking to gain valuable experience by assisting Roberto Di Matteo at Belgium.