Martin Keown believes the greatest gift Arsene Wenger can give Arsenal is to help the club find his replacement.
The Gunners legend, 50, who spoke exclusively to Shoot! from Wembley Stadium ahead of this weekend’s cup final between his former club and Premier League champions Chelsea, believes the Frenchman is staying at the Emirates Stadium beyond this season – despite the 67-year-old’s current deal expiring in the summer.
“I can’t see that he is going. I think he has been immensely solid, determined and quite stubborn through all of this – he hasn’t blinked once,” said Keown, speaking on behalf of BT Sport ahead of the Emirates FA Cup Final.
“He wants to do what he wants to do. Within the club, it will be interesting to see what happens now in terms of whether that power will be shared throughout the club.
“I’m not on the inside, but what areas of management are they looking to take away from him? That could be where the stumbling block is.
“If he is staying, he has to buy into change. That might be part of it.
“There might be someone now who they start to look for together. That maybe the greatest gift Arsene Wenger can give Arsenal Football Club – to help find his replacement.”
Gunners fans have vented their anger this season at the club’s disappointing Premier League campaign, where Arsenal finished fifth in the top-flight, missing out on qualification for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
Eighteen points adrift of champions Chelsea in the final 2016-17 standings, a proportion of Arsenal fans have called for the Frenchman to walk away from the Emirates beyond this month, despite the club potentially lifting their third FA Cup in four seasons if they defeat Antonio Conte’s Blues at the weekend.
Keown added, “He has been true to his contract, he has been a company man, all the way through this. He has been 100 per cent down the line.
“So if the company, Arsenal, where the club has become a business now, from a business point of view, they have done remarkably well.
“If the business wants him to adapt, then I assume he will.”
Watch Arsenal v Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup Final live on BT Sport 2 from 4:30pm on Saturday, May 27. BT Sport is your home of unmissable football from the Emirates FA Cup and Premier League. For more info visit btsport.com.