09 Feb, 11:00
Arsenal should replace Arsene Wenger with Antonio Conte, says Paul Merson.
The ex-Arsenal player is calling on the Gunners to appoint Conte should he leave London rivals Chelsea. The Italian guided Chelsea to Premier League title last season but his future with the club remains uncertain following back-to-back defeats. Reports have claimed that the Blues are is the search for his replacement with Luis Enrique in line to take over. According to Merson, Arsenal, who are sixth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, should be looking to appoint Conte despite Wenger penning a new two-year deal last May.
“The day Conte leaves Chelsea, if I was Arsenal, I'd be straight on the phone. Managers like Conte don't come along too often. Arsenal needs someone that is going to go in there and upset people. Conte upsets people. He wants you to play a certain way and he'll make you rock solid at the back. As soon as Arsenal get rock solid at the back, they'll be a force.” Merson told Sky Sports.
"I think Arsenal would say: 'we'd have you next season'. I think they'd be mad if they didn't.I think it ticks all the boxes. Arsenal can't keep missing all these managers. You can't tell me Pep Guardiola wouldn't want to have managed Arsenal? If he had that opportunity, he'd have gone to Arsenal in my opinion.” he added.
Despite Wenger signing Aubameyang during the January transfer window, Merson feels the Frenchman has lost control and power within the club.