‘Arsenal should keep an eye on Vieira to replace Emery’


The Nice coach should be towards the front of the line if the Emirates side need to make a change in the dugout, according to the club’s ex-left-back

Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has backed Patrick Vieira as a potential replacement for current boss Unai Emery.

With the Gunners fifth in the Premier League standings, there appears to be an atmosphere of discontent around the Emirates club.

Mesut Ozil remains in the spotlight due to his continued absence from the first team in Premier League fixtures, while club captain Grant Xhaka’s angry reaction to being substituted in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday has stepped up speculation that all has been not well in north London.

Emery finds himself in the line of fire, with the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla boss having his position in the dugout put under question.

While there does not appear to be a serious threat to his job at present, thoughts are beginning to turn to potential successors for the Spaniard.

Winterburn, who played over 570 times for the club and was a member of the team that won the Premier League in 1998 and Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994, does not think that the board will take any great risks with the next appointment but has tipped a former Gunner as the leading candidate.

“I would say keep an eye on what’s happening with Patrick Vieira,” the former left-back told Gambling.com.

“If someone like that could prove they are able to run a club in the right way, then Arsenal may look towards that eventually.

“I don’t know if they would be as brave to go with someone like [Freddie] Ljungberg or [Mikel] Arteta.

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“They may be terrific coaches but when you take that manager’s role it steps up another couple of levels again.”

Vieira has been currently in charge of Ligue 1 side Nice, though he has been in a period of difficulty with the Cote d’Azur side, who lie 15th in France’s top flight after a run of five competitive matches in which they have taken just a single point.

Much has been expected of the former midfielder at the Allianz Riviera this season, with Nice having been subject to a takeover that has brought with it a significant injection of transfer funds, allowing them to notably sign Kasper Dolberg from Ajax.


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