Former Arsenal star Robert Pires believes Thierry Henry is a serious contender to take over from Arsene Wenger when the current Gunners’ boss leaves the Emirates Stadium.
Henry, who was handed an opportunity to work with the Arsenal academy by Wenger earlier this year and is currently doing his coaching badges, is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace his long-serving compatriot.
But despite Henry’s strong emotional ties with Arsenal and his clear love for the club, it would be a major surprise if officials at the Emirates Stadium offer the job - perhaps one of the most sought-after roles in world football - to a novice manager. But Pires sees it differently.
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"Can I see Thierry Henry taking over Arsene Wenger? Yes, why not?" the former France international told Omnisport, according to Goal. "He is working on his badges. He is involved with the U19 team at Arsenal academy. He is preparing himself step by step. He wants to get his badges.
"Question is: would Arsenal want Thierry Henry? It depends on the board, the chairman. I can see Thierry Henry, as well as Patrick Vieira. It's up to the club to prepare well for the post-Arsene era. That's crucial."
Patrick Vieira a more likely candidate?
One suspects Vieira will be a more likely contender to replace Wenger due to his superior experience as a coach.
The 39-year-old managed Manchester City’s reserve side for two years and became the new head coach of New York City, where he will be in charge of the likes of Frank Lampard and David Villa, earlier this week.
Henry, meanwhile, is currently earning his money working as a pundit for Sky Sports.
Pires: Vieira could return to Arsenal
Pires admits Vieira was disappointed not have been offered a role at Arsenal, but insists his fellow Frenchman has not written off managing his former club in the future.
"It's a new experience and a new life for him. He will learn," Pires added. "Okay, it's MLS but you have to start your career somewhere.
"I am sure - and it's only my opinion - we will see him on Arsenal's bench.
"He was disappointed to not be given a job at Arsenal at first. But now he understands and respects the choice of the people at Arsenal. He hasn't written off the opportunity of coaching Arsenal.
"He played nine years there. He was one of the emblematic captains. He is still learning. I know him very well and I am sure that he will manage a top European team."
Arsenal fans: would you prefer Thierry Henry or Patrick Vieira as your next manager? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!