LONDON – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will have plenty of clubs interested in his services after he leaves the job, according to the Premier League club’s former vice-chairman David Dein.
He was instrumental in hiring Wenger at Arsenal in 1996 and after more than two decades in charge, the Frenchman has announced that he will step down at the end of the season.
“He is going to be 69 in October and he is extraordinarily fit. He has a very active mind and great knowledge of the game,” Dein told Sky Sports.
“Over the last few years I know for a fact that he has been approached by some of the biggest clubs in the world — I think Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, the England national team wanted him at one stage.
“There will be no shortage of offers.”
Wenger, 68, has led Arsenal to three Premier League titles and seven F.A. Cup triumphs, but the club has faded in recent years and sits fifth in the league table.
Dein still believes Wenger is Arsenal’s greatest ever manager.
“I think it was so aptly and eloquently put by Richard Scudamore, the chairman of the Premier League, earlier this week. His legacy is not just for Arsenal, but for global football,” Dein said.
“His style of play, his mannerism, the way he has conducted himself, his integrity, his honesty, the way he handles players, his concern for youth development,” Dein added.
“His results speak for themselves over the years. He has been enormously successful and will undoubtedly go down in history as the greatest Arsenal manager ever.”
Arsenal’s only chance of claiming silverware this season and sealing Champions League qualification is by winning the Europa League, in which it hosts Atletico Madrid in the semifinal first leg on Thursday.
Walcott fires Everton to win
Theo Walcott’s second-half strike helped Everton beat Newcastle 1-0 in Liverpool on Monday night and move up to eighth in the English Premier League, its highest position since August.
The result ended Newcastle’s four-match winning streak and prevented Rafael Benitez’s side from leapfrogging the Toffees in the standings.
There were 31 minutes on the clock before either side registered a shot on target, and when it did Ayoze Perez’s tame effort was underwhelming.
Everton almost took the lead moments later but Jonjo Shelvey blocked Michael Keane’s header with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka stranded.
The home side broke the deadlock six minutes after the break. Walcott was originally unable to bring Yannick Bolasie’s deep cross under control but the ball came back off DeAndre Yedlin and Walcott smashed it into the roof of the net.
Both managers made changes after that and it was Newcastle substitute Dwight Gayle who should have leveled 64 seconds after coming on. Shelvey’s corner was headed on by Jamaal Lascelles and Gayle hooked a great chance off target from close range.
Keane, who had been booked for a foul on Gayle, was fortunate to escape another caution for an equally poor challenge on the same player, but Everton retained 11 men and held on, with Seamus Coleman brilliantly heading away Jacob Murphy’s cross at the end.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5