Gilberto Silva: Arsene Wenger struggled to replace this Arsenal legend

Gilberto Silva says Arsene Wenger struggled to replace former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira

The Sport Review staff

Arsenal have taken a long time to replace former captain Patrick Vieira, according to Gilberto Silva.

The World Cup winner quit Arsenal in 2005 for Serie A side Juventus after winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups at the north London side.

It took a little bit longer than expected to adapt without him

Gilberto Silva

Vieira has since retired from professional football and the former France international is currently in charge of Major League Soccer outfit New York City FC.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has used Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla in centre-midfield roles in recent seasons.

However, former Gunners star Silva, who played alongside Vieira for three seasons, believes Wenger hasn’t adequately replaced his former leader in the 11 years since he left Arsenal.

“It was not so easy for us to lose our captain,” said Silva, speaking exclusively to 888sport.

“It took a little bit longer than expected to adapt without him.

“Later Thierry took over the captaincy and that helped a lot but when you lose big players who had a huge impact it is not easy to replace them. It took a long time.”

Vieira scored 29 goals in 277 Premier League games for the north London side during an eight-year stay at the Gunners.

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The former Arsenal captain, who has been linked with a return to the Gunners as a coach, was announced as New York City FC manager last year.

Read the full 888sport interview with Gilberto Silva here, including how he thinks Francis Coquelin’s return will boost Arsenal to the title.

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