Where should Arsene Wenger head next?
The greatest Arsenal manager in footballing history is at a career crossroads. The Frenchman has been continuously employed as a coach since 1981, overseeing a grand total of 1,464 matches (ManagerMarkt). Since being replaced by Unai Emery, Le Prof briefly enjoyed some much-needed time off, before flying to Russia to assist beINSPORTS with World Cup coverage.
As he reluctantly packed his bags at London Colney, the 68-year-old always maintained his desire to keep on managing post-Arsenal. His tenure at The Emirates Stadium will remain in a league of its own, but it’s his next venture that will ultimately define his legacy.
Here are three teams Arsene Wenger could go to.
One thing the Frenchman has been adamant about is his desire to stay at the top level. He doesn’t want to accept a hefty cheque from China or the MLS, he wants to be competing amongst the elites in the UEFA Champions League; a trophy that has eluded him throughout his career. As of now, Antonio Conte is still the Chelsea manager, but it’s clear his place at the club is under much scrutiny. Maurizio Sarri was meant to replace the Italian, but his Napoli buyout clause is proving too tricky to manoeuvre. Roman Abramovich is a shrewd businessman that would rather take a punt on a proven Premier League manager than have to fork out a fortune on an unknown commodity.
At first, it may be strange to see the 68-year-old in the blue and white as opposed to the red and white, but a change of scenery in the same league would do wonders for Wenger. At Arsenal, he had far too many responsibilities heaped onto his shoulders; ranging from financial dealings to operational duties. At Chelsea, he’d be allowed to solely focus on his tactics. That's where he excels, just like he proved in his early days at Highbury.
#2 AC Milan
As a club rich in European pedigree, AC Milan has been far too average for far too long. Spending €191 million in one season and finishing sixth is not good enough. Although Gennaro Gattuso’s record (17W, 9D, 8L) at the San Siro hasn’t been bad, it’s still not up to the required standard. AC Milan presents Wenger with the perfect high-profile job that doesn’t come with too many expectations.
Juventus and Napoli are by far and away the best two teams in the country, no one expects Milan to rival that pecking order next season. In fact, the pursuit for UEFA Champions League qualification is something the Frenchman is used to and proven to be an expert in achieving. So, for Arsene Wenger, this is a long-term project he could sprinkle his magic dust on and rebuild his legacy upon.
Regardless of what they achieve in Russia, Didier Deschamps’ job will under review at July's end. France has always been a nation blessed with exciting talent, however, as of today, this is the most talented group they’ve ever had. And the way Deschamps has used personal vendettas to mismanage the squad has been criminal. Someone who wouldn’t allow such pettiness to get in the way would be Arsene Wenger.
In case you don’t know, Wenger is revered as a god in France with success shaping and bewildering the minds of an entire country. Under Wenger, France’s golden generation could be ready to be legit contenders for Euros 2020. The Frenchman is renown for breeding young talents into world-class players, he did it with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas, so imagine what he could do with Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and company...