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Reports Link Patrick Vieira To Arsenal Job As Arsene Wenger Departs

Shockwaves reverberated across English and European soccer on Friday morning as longtime Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger announced that he will depart the London club at the end of the current season after 22 years in charge.

It seems those waves are already lapping at the shores of the Big Apple.

New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira is one of the first names mooted as a potential replacement for the legendary Wenger, with multiple English media outlets reporting that the former Arsenal midfielder could return to his beloved club, where he anchored some of the strongest sides in English Premier League history at the turn of the century.

Outspoken beIN SPORTS television commentator Richard Keys tweeted out a report that Wenger himself has recommended Vieira as his successor, adding that the Arsenal board aren’t entirely sold on the idea:
Wenger has previously spoken of his admiration for Vieira’s potential as a coach, and suggested that he might someday follow in his footsteps at the Emirates Stadium.

“He’s a guy who has the potential one day, yes,” said Wenger of Vieira. “I’ve followed his managerial career. I think he does very well. But overall, after that, this Premier League is special, you know. … There are plenty of former players who played here who have potential and the intelligence and the knowledge to do it.”

Vieira didn’t leave Arsenal on the best of terms, transferring to Italian giants Juventus in 2005 and finishing his playing career with Inter Milan and Manchester City before retiring to begin his coaching journey in City's youth development system.

He took over at NYCFC ahead of the 2016 season, their second in MLS, and transformed the franchise’s fortunes, leading them to consecutive MLS Cup Playoffs appearances, and now has steered them to the top of the league standings in the early going of the 2018 campaign.

Vieira’s former Arsenal teammate Ray Parlour recently told talkSPORT that the Frenchman would leap at the chance to take over the Gunners after Wenger’s departure.

“I know for a fact that Patrick Vieira would die for the chance of managing Arsenal,” said Parlour. “I know he’s doing a really good job at the moment in New York and he’s under the Manchester City umbrella, but he wants a big job.

“He was at the club for 10-odd years, he knows exactly how the clubs runs, he knows exactly what standards have been set and I think he’d be superb for the dressing room … I played with him and he was great as a player in the dressing room area, so if he can do the same as a manager then he’ll be a very successful one.”

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