Patrick Vieira should succeed Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, says Paul Merson

Patrick Vieira (left) won three Premier League titles at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger
Image: Will Arsene Wenger sign a new contract before paving the way for Patrick Vieira's return to Arsenal?

Paul Merson believes Arsene Wenger will stay at Arsenal for another year, but has backed former team-mate Patrick Vieira to succeed him at the Emirates.

Wenger is in the midst of the most turbulent spell of his 20-year stint in north London, with perennial failings on the pitch plunging his position into doubt.

The Frenchman claims to have already reached a decision over his future, though, a decision Merson believes will result in him signing the contract extension reportedly on the table.

While an extension would anger sections of the Arsenal support, Merson feels they could be appeased if former Gunners captain Vieira returned to the club in a managerial capacity.

"My instincts tell me he's going to sign and he's waiting for a big win and he'll sign for another year," the Sky Sports pundit said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he stays a year and then Patrick Vieira comes in."

My instincts tell me Wenger is going to sign for another year. I wouldn't be surprised if he stays a year and then Patrick Vieira comes in.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson

Asked whether Vieira was heir-apparent, he added: "Yes. He's learning his trade over at New York City, he's been at Man City, and he brings a winning mentality, he won't take any rubbish.

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"Arsenal look too nice at the moment. I think that could happen and the fans would love that.

"The players don't seem like they're working that hard for the manager at the moment, which is sad.

New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira speaks at an interview with AFP during the club's annual media day on March 9, 2017, in New York. / AFP PHOTO /
Image: Vieira currently manages New York City FC, after coaching at Manchester City

"Whoever comes in it's going to be a step-up - it's a big, big football club but I don't see a problem.

"He's a legend, which gives you some leeway. I just think he'll get his team playing the way he played the game, which is what they need at the moment."

Arsenal have only been able to beat Sutton United and Lincoln City in their last six games in all competitions, a run which has seen then crash out of the Champions League and slip to sixth in the Premier League.

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With the Gunners hosting top-four rivals Manchester City once the international break ends, Merson was adamant there was no room for manoeuvre, adding: "They need to win this game.

"When are Arsenal out of the top four at this stage? Usually they're a shoo-in. It's a must-win game."

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