With Arsene Wenger’s announcement that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season last Friday, there was an outpouring of sentimentality upon the ending of a 22-year long era that seen plentiful silverware, and also plenty of hardships.

Now that the furore has died down a little, it’s time to look at who could be the next manager to take the helm at Arsenal Football Club – something that hasn’t been done in over two decades.

It’s very, very important to get right. There aren’t many cases in world football that are comparable to Arsenal’s current situation – perhaps most similar however is Sir Alex Ferguson leaving Manchester United at the end of the 2012/13 season. The Scottish manager ended on a high with a Premier League win and things have been going downhill at the club since.

This was partly due to the men in charge of the club in the subsequent years, certainly David Moyes – who had one of the most unenviable tasks in football, proceeding Fergie – and also Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, to a lesser extent.

What the United example shows is that getting the next manager after a long-term gaffer like Wenger is incredibly important, and could very well dictate how well the club will perform in more than just the immediate future.

Below is a look at some of the managers who have been touted to take the reins at the Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta

The former Arsenal man – now assistant manager to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City – has never been in charge of a senior team, yet was installed as the bookies favourite to take over from Wenger soon after the outgoing managers announcement. This will be down to Arsenal’s Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis publicly stating that Arteta is the man he wants for the job.

The Spaniard was a midfielder with the Gunners from 2011 till his retirement in 2016, over which time he made 110 appearances from the club and was always regarded as a reliable figure in the team and a consummate professional.

Still only 36 years old, Arteta is currently 6/1 to be standing in the Emirates dug-out next season, and while it would represent a risk, it could also be a good long-term option if it worked out.

Luis Enrique

The current favourite to take over from Arsene Wenger is former Barcelona player and manager Luis Enrique.

Currently without a club since departing Barcelona at the end of last season, the two time La Liga and 2014-15 Champions League winning manager is one of the most in-demand in the world.

It’s easy to see how he could be a good fit at Arsenal. He played a progressive and attacking form of football at Barcelona, after inheriting Pep Guardiola’s team and helping them to continue their success.

He’s also thought to be sought-after by London neighbours Chelsea, so it would not be surprising to see Luis Enrique in the Premier League next season in some capacity. The Spaniard is just over even odds to become Arsenal’s next manager.

Julian Nagelsmann/Domenico Tedesco

These two managers would represent appointing a young manager currently managing a top side in the Bundesliga.

Julian Nagelsmann is the man in charge at Hoffenheim, and he has captured the attention of football fans all over the world. With a career cut short at just 20 years of age, Nagelsmann turned to management and has excelled in this field, helping his side qualify for the Champions League last season. Now, at just 30 years of age, his name is one that is linked with every top manager job that opens up, and Arsenal is no different.

In a someway similar vein, Domenico Todesco is another German wunderkind. His story is an extraordinary one of working his way up through youth football management despite never having played professionally himself. At only 32 years of age he finds himself in charge of one Germany’s biggest clubs, Schalke, and is also being linked with top jobs around Europe due to his exploits with the club.

Both managers are tied down to long-term contracts which may act as perhaps the biggest blockade between them taking over anywhere else. They are both currently at 40/1 to be the next Arsenal manager.

Patrick Vieira/Thierry Henry

These two are combined not because they would work as a management team, but because either one would represent the installing of a fan-favourite as manager.

Patrick Vieira has been quietly forging a managerial career for himself, first with the Manchester City reserves and currently with New York City in the MLS. One of Arsenal’s greatest ever players, he would be a popular choice, but one unproven at the highest level.

The same can be said, and perhaps more so, about Thierry Henry. The French forward can lay claim to being perhaps the most popular player to ever don an Arsenal shirt, but the current Belgian national team is perhaps still too green-nosed to hold the top job at the club he holds dear. He is currently 40/1 to be the next permanent manager, with Viera at a shorter 11/1.

Diego Simeone

For the past few years, it looked like Diego Simeone, the manager of Arsenal’s Europa League Semi-Final opponents Atletico Madrid, would be the perfect man to take over following Arsene Wenger’s departure.

If Thursday night was an audition for Simeone (which may be quite a flattering thing to say from an Arsenal perspective) then it didn’t go very well, with the manger’s well documented flair seeing him sent to the stands after 12 minutes.

Speaking before the two sides first clash, the highly successful 47-year-old said that had not spoken with anyone at Arsenal about the soon to be open position. Up until last September it may have been more likely he would take the job, but at the start of the current season he signed a contract that will keep him at Atletico until 2020 and possibly beyond.

The Argentinian seems like he would be a good fit for the club due to his passion and his past success, but his new deal and commitment to Atletico have him out at 33/1 with the bookies.

Massimiliano Allegri

Juventus supporters have an unusual relationship with their manager. On one hand, Massimiliano Allegri has brought them incredible success at domestic level and to two Champions League finals over the course of the past 4 years.

On the other hand, some of his team’s supporters believe that he plays and promotes a style of football that is unbefitting of The Old Lady.

If Juventus are pipped to the post by Napoli in Serie A this season, it is likely that Allegri will leave the side he has managed since 2014 for pastures new, and if that were to be the case, then there is a high likelihood these pastures would be on English soil. He is 11/1 to be the man to take over in North London.


There are several other names in contention, as there is no obvious pick. German coach Joachim Loew is 9/1 to take up the role after the World Cup in Russia; Current Celtic and former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodger is currently at 12/1; Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is at 14/1; Antonio Conte and Rafa Benitez are both at 25/1; and even the aforementioned van Gaal is in the running at 33/1.