We’re just 16 days away from the start of the new season, but it seems Arsenal are already planning for life after Arsene Wenger.
Despite their struggles to track down a signature in the summer window, sources close to the club believe Eddie Howe is the man in line to take over from the Frenchman.
Wenger has just one year left on his contract with the Gunners, and if things don’t start to pick up in terms of silverware he could be waving goodbye to a illustrious career.
After 20 years with the North London side, Wenger has scooped 15 major honours and gone on to be one of the most influential men in the game through his professionalism.
His philosophy in both the transfer market and match-day tactics often divides opinion, but overall his commitment to a top-level club is something you don’t see in today’s game.
But every good thing must come to an end, and however the season may go you can see Wenger walking away from the Emirates with his head held high over what he’s achieved.
With it being a win or bust season for Wenger, plans are already underway for his successor and David Woods (Daily Star) who has strong links to the club, believe Howe is top of the pile.
The Bournemouth manager has spent just one season in the Premier League but having kept his side up in the world’s most demanding division, talk soon turned to his potential.
At 38 he’s hardly the most experienced man to run a Champions League side of this quality, but I can see why the Gunners board admire him so much.
His desire to play attractive football can’t be overlooked whilst working with the players he’s got, he prefers to develop a footballer rather than go out and spend.
You could say he’s got everything a young Arsene Wenger had, but it’s believed the 66-year-old won’t have the freedom to choose his replacement when he does leave.
Arsenal have clearly learnt from the failed tenure of David Moyes at Manchester United, who although was a big favourite of Fergie, didn’t have the right mentality to manage a top, top club.
That of course begs the question as to whether Howe has something different, but things should become a lot clearer over the next nine months of the campaign.