Arsenal legend Paul Merson has urged his old club to appoint Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as Arsene Wenger’s replacement if he does end up leaving Stamford Bridge.
The Italian’s future at Chelsea is in serious doubt at the moment after a poor run of form, with the Blues winning only two of their last ten games in all competitions.
The Daily Telegraph have already started linking former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique as Conte’s replacement at the Bridge, with Roman Abramovich not one to show patience for too long when results start going against his managers.
Meanwhile, Wenger signed a two-year contract last summer but has once again struggled to get Arsenal competing as they should be as, despite reaching the Carabao Cup final, they look in danger of missing out on the top four again and are already out of the FA Cup.
There were numerous fan protests against the Frenchman at Arsenal games last season, with the feeling for some time being that he has been unable to live up to the high standards he set at the club earlier in his reign.
Given that both managers could in theory leave their current posts in the near future, Merson believes Arsenal have to go for Conte if he becomes available.
‘The day he (Conte) leaves Chelsea, if I was Arsenal, I’d be straight on the phone,’ Merson told Sky Sports, as reported by the Metro.
‘Arsenal need someone like him. He upsets people but he wants you to play a certain way and he will make you rock solid at the back. As soon as Arsenal get rock solid at the back they will be a force.
‘He’s a top manager. I think Arsenal would say “we will have you next season”. I think they would be mad if they didn’t.
‘Sooner or later it’s got to change, Arsene can’t (stay forever). These managers don’t come along too often in football. I think he ticks all the boxed I really do. Arsenal can’t keep on missing all these managers.’