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9 managers who could realistically replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

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Patrick Vieira

Vieira was Arsenal’s captain the last time that the Gunners lifted the Premier League title: the Invincibles of 2003/04. After leaving Highbury in 2005, Vieira turned out for Juventus, Inter and Manchester City, retiring in 2011. The Frenchman became Football Development Executive at City and, two years later, took over the club’s development team.

Then, in November 2015, Vieira was unveiled as New York City’s coach, replacing inaugural head honcho Jason Kreis. In the Frenchman's first season, NYCFC reached the play-offs after finishing their Eastern Conference campaign in second.

As a former Arsenal legend and young coach, it's no surprise that Vieira is in the running. It seems unlikely, though: City Football Group would presumably be unamused at the prospect of letting him leave for a Premier League rival having sunk years into his development, but Arsenal probably need someone with more experience to oversee a new period of sweeping change anyway.

Thierry Henry

Talking of Arsenal legends with little managerial experience, step forward outside bet Henry. 

The Frenchman has mainly stuck to the Sky Sports sofa since hanging up his boots in 2014, but is serious about a future in coaching and was announced as an assistant manager to Roberto Martinez with the Belgian national side in August 2016. Since losing their first game together, Belgium have shown impressive form since, and will face England at the World Cup this summer.

With his UEFA Pro Licence secured, Henry may look to replicate the transition into management made by former team-mate Zinedine Zidane. But whether or not he would be ready to take charge at Arsenal, considering their fragile situation, is another matter. A job too big too soon, perhaps? 

Eddie Howe

The 40-year-old is currently in his second spell at Bournemouth, the club for whom he made 284 of his 286 senior appearances as a player.

Howe first took charge in 2008, aged 31, and salvaged the club’s Football League status. After a brief stint at Burnley between 2011 and 2012, he returned to his beloved Bournemouth and guided the Cherries to the top flight for the first time in their history. They finished 16th in their first season, five points clear of relegated Newcastle, and ninth last term – yet more year-on-year progress that Bournemouth have enjoyed ever since his arrival. 

Howe has experience in the Premier League and a bright managerial career ahead. But Arsenal would be a huge step to take in almost every sense, and his inexperience managing high-profile stars at the highest level would doubtlessly count against him for the Emirates Stadium decision-makers. 

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