Arsenal coaching candidates to replace Arsene Wenger: Ancelotti, Simeone and Tuchel top the list

With the news that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is stepping down at season's end, it's time to take a look at who could potentially replace him at the Emirates and guided a talented team into the future and, for fans, take this team over the top when it comes to contending in the Premier League and the Champions League. There will be no shortage of candidates to choose from, and here are coaches should be considered:

The betting favorite and best option

Carlo Ancelotti: The Italian manager is looked at as one of the world's best managers and has won had as much success as any manager since his days at AC Milan. He's got a league title at Milan, Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich, he's won the Champions League three times and more. He's demanding of the higher-ups, wanting proper funds to invest in the world's best players and is a guy that could get Arsenal contending for the league next season. Would be a stunning hire. 

He's also the betting favorite, according to the Evening Standard

The second-best option

Thomas Tuchel: The German tactician was impressive at his short stint as Borussia Dortmund manager and is looked at as a guy like Jurgen Klopp, a genius of the game with the potential for long-term success at a major club. He replaced Klopp at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund before his abrupt firing in May of 2017. 

As The Guardian notes, Tuchel is expected to become the next manager at Paris Saint-Germain, but there is always a chance until that becomes official.

The Juventus maestro

Maximo Allegri: The Juventus boss would be a fine hire for Arsenal, as he's helped mold the current Juventus into a dominant one. But Arsenal really isn't a better sporting project. He can stay in Italy and continue to win Serie A after Serie A, but at Arsenal he'll likely have more resources to invest in players. There's no question that the current Juve roster is superior to that of Arsenal though, so jumping ship probably isn't in the cards. 

The 'are you serious' candidate

Brendan Rodgers: You know he is going to be linked. The former Liverpool boss has found success at Celtic. He's pretty much an Arsene Wenger copycat, because he finished last season undefeated in league with Celtic and also had Kolo Toure (that's a joke, he's not a copycat). But in all seriousness, he's done really well with the Scottish giants, and after feeling the pressures of a massive gig like Liverpool, one has to wonder if now is the time to try and return to the top. He'll have his chance down the road if he keeps winning at Celtic and he is just 45 years old. His club currently has a 13-point lead atop the table.

The fountain of youth

Mikel Arteta: This is an interesting one. Arteta is just 36 years of old, he's a former Arsenal player and he has been an assistant for Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola since 2016. Learning from Guardiola is certainly an invaluable experience, but he doesn't seem to have enough coaching experience to warrant the job. He'll probably be looked at though. He's been in England since 2005, sees how City splashes the cast, and that's something that would make Arsenal fans happy. Unlikely, but worth an interview. 

Giving him a chance

Sean Dyche: The 46-year-old Burnley manager has been so impressive at the club, earning promotion twice. He brought the team from the Championship to the Premier League in 2014-15 but was then relegated. He won the Championship the next season, kept Burnley up last year and this year has his team in seventh, just two points behind Arsenal. He hasn't had a lot of scoring talent, with his team averaging a goal per game, but the team is allowing less than a goal per game, which has been the key to their success. With 14 wins and 10 draws out of 34 matches, he's shown what he can do with low resources. What can he do with tons of it?


Diego Simeone: The Atletico Madrid manager has worked wonders in the Spanish capital, turning the club from a Spanish afterthought to a contender. He's won La Liga, and already made more Champions League finals than Wenger. But this doesn't feel like the right job for him, though fans would love him. If and when he leaves Atletico, it seems more likely he'll join former club Inter Milan or potentially become the next coach of the Argentina national team when the Jorge Sampaoli era is over. 

The return of the king

Thierry Henry: Henry is one of the greatest to ever come out of Arsenal and was the superstar of Wenger's undefeated Premier League team in 2003-04. But the truth is, he has no experience as a head manager. He's been an assistant for the Belgium national team since 2016, and now doesn't seem like the right time to give him this opportunity. 

Another legendary return

Patrick Viera: The World Cup-winning midfielder, who was the rock in the middle of the pitch for the undefeated squad, has coached the Manchester City reserves and has been the head coach of MLS club New York City FC since 2016. He obviously knows the club well, has a couple years of experience as a manager. He wouldn't be the most exciting hire by any stretch of the imagination, but he's another who will probably at least be discussed. 

Monaco's magician

Leonardo Jardim: This is an option I really like, and one that I think can happen. The Venezuelan-born Portuguese manager has been dominant at Monaco and has such a great eye for talent. He landed Bernardo Silva for $19 million (sold to Manchester City for $61 million), Tiemoue Bakayoko for $9.8 million (sold to Chelsea for $49 million), Benjamin Mendy for $15.9 million (sold to Manchester City for $70 million), but selling those players will only give Arsenal fans flashbacks of selling Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and Thierry Henry. If he can keep the players long-term and mold a talented attacking and speedy team like at Monaco, Arsenal could find itself contending very soon. 

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

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