The news that the 2017-18 season will be the last for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal could have reverberations across the Atlantic Ocean to New York.
As news broke that the long-time Gunners manager will be calling it a career in North London after 22 years with the Premier League powerhouse, one of the first names to surface as a possible replacement is Patrick Vieira, current manager for New York City FC of Major League Soccer.
According to a report in the Independent, Wenger acknowledged that his former captain is a potential candidate for the Arsenal managerial position, but did hint that Vieira might need more than a short head coaching tenure in the U.S. to get the job.
Thank you for everything pic.twitter.com/FT5rDt5Hzt
— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) April 20, 2018
“He’s a guy who has the potential one day,” Wenger said. “I’ve followed his managerial career and I think he does very well. But overall, this Premier League is special.”
He also acknowledged that there are a number of former players who have the potential to fill the soon-to-be-vacant Arsenal managerial position.
In an interview with New York radio stations WNYE, Vieira said he was flattered about being linked with the Arsenal manager’s job, but noted he was happy in his current position with New York City FC.
Vieira’s playing career in Europe spanned nearly two decades with much of his time in England with Arsenal. He also played for Manchester City, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.
As a head coach, Vieira is now in his third season with New York City FC, joining the club for the 2016 season to fill the position vacated by the firing of Jason Kreis. During his first two seasons with the MLS side, NYCFC compiled a record of 31-18-19 (W-D-L) and through the first seven match of the 2018 season New York City is 5-0-2. The team has also qualified for the playoffs in each of his first two seasons but failed to advance past the conference semifinals.
The story has been updated to include comments from Patrick Vieira and his tweet regarding Arsene Wenger.