Who'll replace Wenger?

April 21, 2018

The turbulent last five years at Manchester United should act as a cautionary tale to the board at Arsenal as the club looks to hire a new manager for the first time this century.

Just as Alex Ferguson had his fingerprints all over Old Trafford after nearly 27 years in charge at United, Arsene Wenger and his philosophy is ingrained at Emirates Stadium after more than 21 years at Arsenal.

United has had three managers since Ferguson quit in 2013, with Jose Mourinho finally looking like a good fit following the underwhelming tenures of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

Can Arsenal get its succession plan right? Here are the main contenders to take over from Wenger:

Regarded as a brilliant tactician and owning a reputation for giving young players a chance at the top level, Tuchel has been without a club since getting fired by Borussia Dortmund last May. His links with the German club might affect his chances of succeeding at Arsenal, given the presence of head of recruitment Sven Mislintat at the Emirates. Mislintat had a similar role at Dortmund for a decade until he left for Arsenal in November and reportedly clashed with Tuchel. The 44-year-old German has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain.

Whenever a vacancy arises at a top European club, Ancelotti's name is mentioned - and for good reason. The 58-year-old Italian has won league titles in four different countries - Italy, England, France and Germany - and won the Champions League with AC Milan and Real Madrid. He is also out of work, having left Bayern Munich in September. Ancelotti has experience of the Premier League from a spell at Chelsea from 2009-11 and will not be fazed by the task of replacing Wenger.

The favorite with British bookmakers, the 41-year-old Vieira was one of Wenger's first signings and went on to become one of Arsenal's greatest ever players in a nine-year spell. He is currently in Major League Soccer as coach of New York City FC, one of the partner clubs of English champion Manchester City. He has been touted as a future City manager, but is very ambitious and likely would welcome a return to the club that turned him into a star.

An outside bet, but Jardim's stock has risen after he turned Monaco into a French champion and a Champions League semi finalist last season, playing an attacking brand of soccer that would be appreciated at Arsenal. The 43-year-old Venezuela-born coach doesn't have the profile of some of the other possible contenders - his most recent clubs before Monaco were Sporting in Portugal and Olympiakos in Greece - but has tactical nous as well as an eye for young talent, just as Wenger had.

Arsenal has reportedly made informal contact with Luis Enrique, the former Barcelona coach who led the team to the Spanish league-Copa del Rey-Champions League treble in his first season there in 2015 and a domestic league-cup double the following year. The 47-year-old Spaniard has been out of work since leaving Barcelona in the off season of 2017.

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