Arsene Wenger will not go on forever and with the Frenchman in the final year of his contract, Arsenal’s directors are working on a shortlist of candidates to replace him.
Apparently Eddie Howe is high on that list.
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A report from the Sun says that Howe is admired by influential figures at Arsenal and the Gunners could bring him in next summer with Wenger ushered into a Director of Football role. It is believed Wenger, 66, could stay on as Arsenal manager if he wants to but now may be the best time for talented young manager Howe to step up and work under Wenger for the next few years.
Howe, 38, became the youngest manager in the football league when he originally took charge of Bournemouth in 2008 after his career was cut short by injury in 2007. Following a brief stint away at Burnley he returned to Bournemouth and led them up to the Premier League for the first time in club history and the Cherries stayed up quite comfortably last season with their attractive brand of soccer something Wenger is known to be an admirer of.
Here’s a little bit more on the link between Arsenal and Howe:
The Englishman, who kept Bournemouth in the Premier League last season, has influential admirers at Arsenal who like his diligent approach. Boss Arsene Wenger’s contract runs out at the end of the season and he has yet to make a decision on his future. Although Wenger has been told by owner Stan Kroenke that he can extend his deal, they believe Howe can be moulded as a direct replacement if he quits.
Now, Howe would certainly tick all the right boxes when it comes to fostering the style of play Arsenal’s fans, directors and Wenger himself expect. Yet with just a season and a bit of experience in the PL under his belt, is he really ready to step up to manage one of the biggest clubs in the world?
Only time will tell but what is obvious even before we read this report is that Wenger is a fan of Howe. The Arsenal boss allowed Jack Wilshere to go on loan to Bournemouth for the rest of this season safe in the knowledge that the English midfielder would be playing a very similar style to the Gunners.
Howe was linked with the previously vacant England job this summer and his stock is incredibly high in the Premier League. That said, it would be a huge task for anyone to replace Wenger at Arsenal and come anywhere close to replicating his impact. A plus point is that Howe is young, hungry and so far seems unfazed by daunting tasks as he’s taken Bournemouth to the big time and now aims to consolidate them in the PL with minimum fuss.
Looking at this overall, Howe is obviously not the biggest name Arsenal could attract but perhaps he’s the best fit to not only solidify Wenger’s legacy but crank it up a notch with added energy and a slightly fresh approach. The more I think about it the more I think this might work.