Date: 9th February 2018 at 10:15am
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Paul Merson believes Antonio Conte should be the man to replace Arsene Wenger.

The former Arsenal midfielder thinks the Italian would make Arsenal a “force” if he were to leave Chelsea.

Despite lifting the Premier League with the Blues last season, Chelsea have struggled to keep pace with Pep Guardiola’s high-flying Manchester City this term.

Conte’s side have suffered a string of poor results – most recently a 4-1 defeat at Watford – that have left the Blues just one point clear of fifth-placed Tottenham.

Arsene Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer, but Arsenal’s poor league form has cast doubt over the Frenchman fulfilling his contract.

And according to Merson, Conte should be snapped up if the opportunity arrises.

“The day Conte leaves Chelsea, if I was Arsenal, I’d be straight on the phone,” Merson told The Debate.

“Managers like Conte don’t come along too often.

Merson wants Conte to take over at Arsenal.

“Arsenal need someone that is going to go in there and upset people. Conte upsets people. He wants you to play a certain way and he’ll make you rock solid at the back. As soon as Arsenal get rock solid at the back, they’ll be a force.

“I think Arsenal would say: ‘we’d have you next season’. I think they’d be mad if they didn’t.

“I think it ticks all the boxes. Arsenal can’t keep missing all these managers. You can’t tell me Pep Guardiola wouldn’t want to have managed Arsenal? If he had that opportunity, he’d have gone to Arsenal in my opinion.

“Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, they all went to Arsenal’s rivals because Wenger was sat there in the manager’s seat instead of saying the time was right to leave.

“There are other top managers like Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus, but he might come in and it would take him a year to get used to the Premier League – like it did with Klopp.”

Thoughts, Gooners? Is Conte the right man for the job? Let us know in the comments…