Arsenal: Gazidis hints at Wenger exit; Bellerin faces scan; Bergkamp open to return

Arsenal: Gazidis hints at Wenger exit; Bellerin faces scan; Bergkamp open to return

The story set to dominate the rest of Arsenal’s season is whether or not Arsene Wenger will sign a new contract and remain at the Emirates. The last time the club was in this situation was in 2014, and many suspect that had Arsenal not come back from 2-0 down to beat Hull in the FA Cup Final, Wenger may well have walked.

The Gunners’ failure to win the Premier League title last season despite the travails of the other big clubs caused a great deal of angst among the Arsenal faithful, and the protests in the stands did not go unnoticed by Wenger. The Frenchman will make a decision at the end of the season based upon Arsenal’s performance, and chief executive Ivan Gazidis has said that the club are prepared for life after Wenger:

“Arsenal is not Arsene Wenger. They’re not one in the same thing.

“He’s been clear and we’ve always been clear, that’s a mutual decision as to how long he’ll continue.

“Both need to be on the same page on that. In a football sense, he has transformed the club.”

 

If Arsenal’s season follows a similar pattern to previous campaigns; a top four finish and last-16 exit in Europe, then it seems likely that Wenger will step down having taken the team as far as he can. However, were Arsenal to have a fantastically successful season, such as winning the league title, then Wenger would be faced with a real dilemma.

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Some think he would take the opportunity to go out on a high, but it could well give him the taste for more. Robert Pires spoke earlier this week about Wenger’s love for getting out on the training pitch every morning, and that kind of routine is difficult to give up. The board are certainly looking to give him a new deal, it is just a question of squaring it with the supporters.

Elsewhere, Wenger will be keeping his fingers crossed that right back Hector Bellerin returns from international duty unscathed after he went off with a knock late in Spain Under 21s win over San Marino. Bellerin is due for a scan after a bad tackle caught him on the ankle, though it is understood the injury isn’t too serious. With Carl Jenkinson only just returning from a long-term injury and Mathieu Debuchy consigned to the wilderness, Arsenal need Bellerin to stay fit.

 

The former Barcelona youngster has really moved through the gears in recent weeks, and was particularly impressive against Eden Hazard in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Chelsea last month. Club and player are currently in talks over an improved contract, with a flurry of stories emerging this week that Barcelona and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are interested in the 21-year-old.

Finally, club legend Dennis Bergkamp has hinted that he could be open to an Arsenal return at some point in the future. The former Arsenal and Inter Milan forward has been Ajax assistant manager since 2011, and though he reiterated that he is content in Holland he admitted that coaching abroad is an ambition. Any return to north London would be immensely popular with the fans; the Dutchman is credited with having a transformative effect on the team following his arrival in 1995.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Costas Tsioras

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