Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith says the Gunners board won’t struggle to attract a replacement for Arsene Wenger when the Frenchman steps down, however, he feels the playing style of Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, mooted as a possible replacement, may not fit with the club’s philosophy.
While nobody knows whether Wenger intends to continue his long reign for another couple of seasons or not, Smith says geography and Arsenal’s status among the global elite means its future will be in good hands.
“[It’s] a very attractive job to come into a club like Arsenal,” Smith told Newsweek.
“You win the league and you’re a legend having had those ten or 12 barren years, so it’s a club that should be able to attract the best players, they can pay big money, and the fact it’s a London club is a big attraction to foreign players.
“They wouldn’t be short of quality candidates.”
On what Arsenal should be looking for when they do finally start to interview for Wenger’s successor, the player-turned-pundit explained: “You want to have attractive football. Many people are advocating [Atletico Madrid manager] Diego Simeone.
“I think actually that would probably be going too far the other way. He produces winning sides [but] I think the Arsenal fans would find it a bit hard to stomach that style of football.”
He continued: “You need a new man to come in who would be a powerful manager, who would want to do things his way, whether that is with a director of football, which I think is something the club are looking at, to take some of the weight off the manager’s shoulders. But no, I think if he [Wenger] decided to step down he would have to walk away from the club altogether.”