Arsene Wenger believes former Arsenal favourite Patrick Vieira has the potential to manage the club in the future.
Reports on Thursday claimed the 41-year-old New York City boss has been lined up to replace Wenger should he depart the Emirates Stadium this summer.
Less than 24 hours later came the news that Wenger is indeed leaving the club after 22 years in charge.
Vieira enjoyed a glittering nine-year stint at Arsenal during the peak of his career, lifting three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, as well as captaining Wenger’s side throughout their unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003/04.
He returned to England after a successful spell in Serie A to see out his playing days at Manchester City, before taking a youth-team coaching role with the club.
That led in 2016 to him being appointed as manager of another of City Football Group’s clubs, Major League Soccer franchise New York City.
Wenger’s position has come under scrutiny again this season with a mediocre league campaign and a third-round FA Cup exit – and the Frenchman admitted his compatriot could be a good choice to lead Arsenal at some point.
“He’s a guy who has the potential one day, yes,” he said of Vieira’s credentials.
“He works in the moment in New York and he works for Man City. I’ve followed his managerial career. I think he does very well. But overall, after that, this Premier League is special, you know.
“You have to come in. There are plenty of former players who played here who have potential and the intelligence and the knowledge to do it. So there’s plenty of choice, don’t worry about that.”