London (AFP) – Arsenal great Bob Wilson believes Arsene Wenger is destined to manage France one day as his reign at the Emirates draws to a close.
Wenger announced on Friday that his 22-year stay as Arsenal boss will conclude at the end of the season but Wilson, who made more than 300 appearances for Arsenal between 1963 and 1974 and worked as a goalkeeping coach under Wenger, does not believe the 68-year-old Frenchman will quit football.
“I know before that France have asked him (to become manager),” Wilson told BBC radio.
“I have got this thing that he may go back to his home country and really bring around change in the French national side.”
David Seaman, another former Arsenal goalkeeper, agreed that Wenger will not call time on his career.
“I hope he goes on holiday, he looks like he needs a good break,” Seaman said. “But he has a passion for football, he’s totally obsessed with it.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned up at another club or in international football.”
A host of names have already been suggested as possible candidates to succeed Wenger at the Emirates Stadium.
Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira — head coach at New York City — ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, Germany manager Joachim Low, Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers and Italian pair Carlo Ancelotti and Massimiliano Allegri are among those who have been linked.
“I wouldn’t think we’ll know before the end of the season, I don’t think that’s the Arsenal way,” Wilson said. “But hopefully it will be early in the close season so the players are understanding.
Seaman said: “I want a manager to come in who is tried and trusted and already proven. He needs a big stature to go in there and make demands.
“If he doesn’t get them he has to say ‘right, I’m not coming’ because the team needs a big overhaul.”