After nearly two decades at the helm of Arsenal, this season may just be the last for Arsene Wenger. Never before has the Frenchman’s exit looked more likely.
While Arsenal offering the 66-year-old a new contract should certainly not be ruled out, his current deal is set to end next year.
Club legend Thierry Henry has given his opinion on who should replace Wenger if he does call time next summer though. The Belgium coach is of the opinion that Eddie Howe could just be the man to inherit the reins at the Emirates.
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Although whispers of Wenger leaving Arsenal have largely been muted, it’s certainly been discussed given the impending end of his current contract. In addition, it’s unlike the Gunners to wait so long to move for an extension.
After all, the north London side have been in something of a state of limbo in recent seasons. Two FA Cups and consistent top four finishes have only served to distract from the fact they’ve never truly threatened the Premier League title.
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Consequently, there have been some suggestions, albeit premature, as to who will fill the boots of Wenger whether it’s next summer or in seasons to come.
Ronald Koeman had been a popular choice, but one that has simmered out upon his surprising move to Everton. Subsequently, Howe has emerged as the frontrunner.
It appears that the club’s all-time top scorer agrees with the popular opinion also.
According to Sky Sports, Henry believes Howe’s philosophy would be the perfect fit for Arsenal, stating: "When he [Howe] said I'd rather die than change my philosophy, I thought that spoke volumes about the man. We all know how difficult it is to stay in this league, but the guy has stayed true to his word and kept that team in the Premier League his way.
"And you can understand the talk about Arsenal, because he's going to fit the bill with his philosophy, identity and the way he puts his team out there. But I also liked his answer this week when he said I'm here to win games and who knows what will happen in the future."
As far as seals of approval go, this ranks pretty high. After all, it shows that arguably Arsenal’s greatest ever Premier League player is enthusiastic about Howe potentially moving to north London.
Of course though, this is all speculation given the fact Wenger has no apparent intention of calling time at the end of the season.
Given his desirable philosophy and the recent Jack Wilshere business though, it’s clear to see the reasons behind the Howe link.
However, what is for certain is that Arsenal must deal with the departure of a long-serving manager better than Manchester United. The Gunners can’t afford a similar situation to that of David Moyes given the criticism they receive already.
After all, whether all Arsenal fans like to admit it or not, Wenger will be a very hard act to follow.
Do you think Eddie Howe would be the best replacement for Arsene Wenger? Have YOUR say in the comment box below