Long-serving Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger announced on Friday that he will be leaving at the end of the season, throwing up several questions.
Wenger, 68, has been at Arsenal since 1996 and won three English Premier League titles as well as a record seven FA Cups. He also led the Gunners to that unforgettable unbeaten league run in the 2003/2004 season.
One of Wenger’s greatest legacies has been his trust in youth and in African players. Very few coaches have promoted youth or signed as many African players as Wenger in the Premier League.
The likes of Nigerian legend Nwankwo Kanu, Cameroon great Lauren Etame Meyer, Cote d’Ivoire stars Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Gervinho will forever be grateful to the Frenchman.
Currently, one of Nigeria’s Russia 2018 World Cup hopes Alex Iwobi owes his rise to Wenger, who trusted the academy player and promoted him to the senior side in 2015.
Iwobi, now 21, has not looked back since and sees Wenger as a father figure. Will the next Arsenal manager trust and be as patient with Iwobi as Wenger has been with the youngster? Will the new coach persist with Iwobi, who has already played 34 games in all competitions this season, even after inconsistent performances that come with youth?
How about Kelechi Nwakali who only on Thursday told Completesportsnigeria.com that his future rested on Wenger giving him a chance? How will Wenger’s departure affect the former Golden Eaglets FIFA U-17 World Cup winner who is on loan at Dutch club MVV Maastricht?
What is next for Wenger? How best should he be honoured by Arsenal? How will Arsenal cope without him after 22 years? What are Wenger’s Arsenal legacies.
Who should replace Wenger? The German Thomas Tuchel, formerly of Borussia Dortmund? Carlo Ancelotti? Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri? Any other candidate?
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