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Patrick Vieira is “ready” to take the reins at Arsenal if the club decide to part ways with Unai Emery, according to French football journalist Julien Laurens.
Emery retains the full support of his board for now, but that stance could change if no improvement is made on the field over the coming weeks.
In an unusual start to the Premier League season, Arsenal find themselves in only sixth place despite being above fellow giants Manchester United and Tottenham.
Arsenal have only won four of their first 12 matches this season and there has been an over reliance on new captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s goals to get points on the board.
Vieira has been an obvious name to link with the job given his history with the club and his relative success in management at New York City FC and Nice.
But Laurens thinks it is justified as the job he is doing with Ligue 1 side Nice shows he is “ready” if Arsenal come knocking.
“I think we’re still far away from Unai Emery leaving the club and having to find a replacement, but if and when it happens Patrick Vieira will be on the shortlist and rightly so,” Laurens told talkSPORT.
“He’s been very good at Nice. He arrived in a difficult environment with the club up for sale, there was a lot of uncertainty, and they finish seventh in his first campaign in charge.
“This season they are 12th in the table but only two points from fourth place in a tight Ligue 1, so there have been a lot of good things Vieira has done.
“He’s learned a lot since arriving back in Europe from New York City FC in the United States.
“I think he will certainly feel ready for this kind of challenge.
“Whether Arsenal pick him or not is a different matter, but I certainly think he will be ready and I think he looks ready.”