Arsene Wenger has told the Arsenal board who he thinks should replace him

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For a generation of Arsenal fans, it's unthinkable that someone other than Arsene Wenger will be in the dugout next season.

There's even a petition doing the rounds to rename the Emirates after him, such has been the veteran Frenchman's influence in north London.

Of course, the 68-year-old hasn't always commanded so much respect from the club's supporters.

"The lack of respect in some stages has been for me a disgrace and I will never accept that," he told the BBC ahead of last year's FA Cup final.

The sad reality is that for as long as Wenger remained in charge, he risked tarnishing his reputation further and that was why even those who had once loved him eventually called for him to go.

Now that 'Wenger In' vs 'Wenger Out' has finally been settled, the only question that remains is who succeeds him.

Arsenal fans feel very strongly about the issue and the board could do a lot worse than to appoint a man who is already universally popular.

It's fair to say Brendan Rodgers, the early favourite among some bookies, would be divisive to put it mildly. Yet, the other name being repeatedly thrown into the mix is Patrick Vieira.

Wenger knows who he wants 

The Gunners' former midfield talisman has been gaining coaching experience with New York City in the MLS and his appointment would be welcomed in some quarters - but particularly by Wenger.

According to BeIN Sport's Richard Keys, the outgoing boss has recommended his old player to the board, but they are still undecided on whether to take his advice.

Sir Alex Ferguson famously recommended David Moyes as his successor at Manchester United and it didn't work out particularly well.

Still, bringing in Vieira could be the perfect way to add some 'cojones' to an Arsenal team that has been accused of lacking fight, not just by Troy Deeney.

Indeed, Wenger may have dropped a big hint on Thursday - when no-one had any idea that he was about to walk away - as to his hopes regarding Vieira.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

"He’s a guy who has the potential one day, yes," he told a press conference.

"I’ve followed his managerial career. I think he does very well. But overall, this Premier League is special, you know."

When those words came out of his mouth, few thought anything of it at the time, but perhaps Wenger was giving us a clue. The decision is out of his hands, though, and it's now down to Ivan Gazidis and co. to make a reasoned choice.

Is Vieira the right man for Arsenal? Have your say in the comments. 

Arsene Wenger
Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira

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