SportSoccer

Arsenal great picks out the natural successor to Wenger

SoccerBy Sunday World
Wenger's latest Arsenal contract expires next summer
Wenger's latest Arsenal contract expires next summer

Arsenal goal scoring great Charlie Nicholas has named Ronald Koeman as the man he wants to succeed Arsene Wenger as Gunners boss.

Koeman has been linked with a move to Arsenal over the last couple of years, as he led Southampton to back-to-back qualification for UEFA's Europa League.

Now he is making a big impression after a summer move to Everton, with his side's 3-1 win against Middlesbrough on Saturday evening firing the Toffees up to second spot in the fledgling Premier League standings.

It has inspired Nicholas to identify Dutch soccer legend Koeman as Wenger's natural successor, with the veteran Gunners boss expected to decide on his own future when his contract expires at the end of this season.

"If I was Arsenal and Wenger is ready to go, Koeman would be the number one target for me," Nicholas told Sky Sports.

"There's a shrewdness about Koeman - he doesn't complicate himself. Once he's made his decision it's all in. I just love his whole approach."

Despite their impressive start to the season under Koeman, Nicholas does not expect Everton to mount a sustained push for the Premier League title.

"I don't think they are title contenders, but I've been very impressed," he added.

"It was a team, when Koeman took over, that I thought could threaten the top four - if he was given a bit of financial muscle," he said.

"They talked in the summer about investors and how determined they seemed to be give more financial input.

"I spoke to a couple of people in Everton's hierarchy in the summer and they very, very positive about the way that Koeman was expressive about where he sees the future with them and how determined he was to do it quite quickly.

"There's still a bit of work to be done but the signs are promising."