Football News

Arsene Wenger backs former captain to one day manage Arsenal

By Ben Green

Published: 17:30, 23 April 2019

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes club legend and ex-captain Patrick Vieira will one day take the reins in north London. 

Vieira enjoyed a trophy-strewn nine years with the Gunners between 1996 and 2005, winning three Premier League titles and three FA Cups.

Could Vieira manage Arsenal? Five key things to know…  

  1. Since calling time on his illustrious playing career Vieira has cut his teeth in football management.
  2. After hanging up his boots with Manchester City in 2011 he joined the coaching staff.
  3. The Frenchman took up his first managerial role with New York City in 2016 where he led the club to its first ever MLS playoff appearance.
  4. He left for Nice in Ligue 1 last summer and has since guided the club to eighth in the French top-flight.
  5. Arsene Wenger has now backed his former captain to one day manage Arsenal.

Since hanging up his boots the former France international has enjoyed successful managerial stints with New York City and Nice.

This season he has guided Les Aiglons to eighth in Ligue 1 and Wenger has outlined his admiration for his compatriot, believing the former skipper will take the Arsenal helm at some point in his managerial career.

“I see him as the Arsenal coach one day because he is too young to go directly into international football,” Wenger told The Times.

“His life will go through club football. He has constructed his career intelligently and patiently.

“He left when he was young, and he has taken time to mature and learn his profession. And something you can’t give; he has a natural charisma, he is both elegant and authoritative.

“He has passed through a difficult time at Nice but he showed no signs of weakness. It is in times of crisis you see the coach. You look at the number of points and it is exceptional.”

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Where next for Wenger?

Since leaving Arsenal last summer after 22 years in north London, the veteran tactician has yet to decide on his next footballing destination.

The Frenchman has been consistently linked with some of the biggest names across European football throughout the season, with AC Milan tipped at one point to land him.

Real Madrid were another name being bandied about when Los Blancos dismissed head coach Santiago Solari, while PSG reportedly have ambitions to make Wenger their new director of football.

Despite this, his next move is yet to be confirmed with the 69-year-old continuing to work as a TV pundit, and when asked about his future, Wenger stated that even he doesn’t know where he will end up next.

“I am open to offers but paradoxically, I don’t have a precise plan,” he said.