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Nuno Espirito Santo to Freddie Ljungberg: Five candidates and odds to succeed Unai Emery as the next Arsenal manager

Massimiliano Allegri, Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira are among the names in contention.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo and current interim boss Freddie Ljungberg are the early favourites to take over on a permanent basis.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo and current interim boss Freddie Ljungberg are the early favourites to take over on a permanent basis.

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Arsenal have sacked manager Unai Emery after a run of seven matches without a win.

Here's a look at who could replace the Spaniard in the dugout:

Nuno Espirito Santo - EVS

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Nuno Espirito Santo guided Wolves back into the Premier League before qualifying for Europe. (Mark Kerton/PA)

The Wolves boss was initially linked to the Arsenal post as pressure on Emery began to mount during a string of poor results.

The Portuguese did a fine job in taking Wolves back to the Premier League and then qualifying for the Europa League at the first attempt, establishing the West Midlands side as one of the “best of the rest” in the top-flight.

Santo, 46, has previous experience of managing at Valencia and Porto but did not enjoy lengthy, successful spells with either and his credentials at a top club remain untested.

Freddie Ljungberg - 13/8

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Freddie Ljungberg has been working as Arsenal’s assistant coach since the summer. (Nick Potts/PA)

The second of three former Arsenal midfielders on this list, Ljungberg was confirmed as interim head coach following Emery’s sacking.

The former Sweden international has worked as an assistant to Emery, after being promoted during the summer from his previous role as the manager of the club’s under-23 side.

That experience means he knows all about the promising crop of youngsters emerging through the ranks and he could be tasked with replicating the early work done by Frank Lampard at Chelsea in bleeding those precocious talents in the first-team.

Mikel Arteta - 8/1

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Mikel Arteta ended his playing days at Arsenal before joining the coaching staff at Manchester City. (Scott Heavey/PA)

Unlike Allegri, Arteta enjoyed a fine career as a ball-playing midfielder before hanging up his boots in 2016 after five years with the Gunners.

In a somewhat surprising move, he departed for Manchester City where he became Pep Guardiola’s trusted right-hand man – helping the club win back-to-back Premier League titles.

He has yet to sample life as a head coach but his appointment would be welcomed by Arsenal fans given his connection to the club and his obvious standing within City’s fine backroom set-up.

Massimiliano Allegri - 11/1

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Massimiliano Allegri won five consecutive Serie A titles at Juventus. (John Walton/PA)

After a fairly run-of-the-mill playing career, former midfielder Allegri blossomed into a serial trophy winner as a manager.

The 52-year-old Italian departed Juventus at the end of last season having delivered the Serie A title in each of his five years at the helm, also claiming four Coppa Italia winners’ medals and losing in two Champions League finals.

Bringing in Allegri would certainly be seen as a signal of intent from the Arsenal owners – but could he be tempted into a rebuilding job, or is he waiting to take over at a club ready-made to add more silverware to his CV?

Patrick Vieira - 22/1

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Patrick Vieira enjoyed a fine spell at Arsenal during his playing career. (PA Archives)

Captain of Arsenal’s unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ and a man still adored by supporters, Vieira would be an overwhelmingly popular appointment.

He has been steadily building up to such a job having managed Manchester City’s reserves and New York City before taking his current post at Nice last summer.

Vieira guided the club to seventh in Ligue 1 in his first season at the helm but surely a return to the club where he won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups would be too tempting an opportunity to resist.

The Outsiders

Although Mauricio Pochettino is rated at 9/1, he has previously ruled out taking over at Arsenal due to his affinity with north London rivals Tottenham. Former Liverpool and Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is available at 12/1 although he is currently in charge of Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang. Bournemouth's Eddie Howe is at 25/1 having earned a shedload of admirers for bringing Bourmouth from League One to an established Premier League club in his nine-year reign. Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is also available at 25/1 with Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is rated at 28/1.

PA

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