Gary Neville urges Arsenal to break from tradition and appoint 47-year-old manager

The Manchester United legend wants Arsenal to appoint Diego Simeone as Arsene Wenger's successor

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Gary Neville has urged Arsenal to spend big on appointing Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone as Arsene Wenger’s successor.

The north London side are on the lookout for a new manager after Wenger announced last week that he will stand down as manager at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Arsenal are in sixth place in the Premier League table and on course to finish outside the top four in successive seasons.

The Gunners haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04, while Arsenal’s only Champions League final appearance came in a 2-1 loss to FC Barcelona in Paris in 2006.

The north London side have been reluctant to spend lavishly on players until the past two or three seasons.

Arsenal will need to find a successor who is capable of replacing Wenger and competing with financial powerhouses such as Chelsea FC, Manchester City and Manchester United in the coming seasons.

Former Manchester United defender Neville wants Arsenal to open their cheque book and appoint Simeone as the Frenchman’s replacement.

“To try and prise him away from Atletico Madrid would be the big move, and people say that wouldn’t be the Arsenal way. But I dispute that strongly,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“The Arsenal way has changed over the years, and it wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest the new Arsenal way can be a little more pragmatic than the current team. Simeone is a winner, a fighter, he will culturally change everything.

“If Arsenal have aspirations to win the league, and are not going to do it by spending, they’re going to have to do it by spending less and achieving more. That’s difficult, and you need a special type of manager to do that.”

Simeone’s Atletico side will take on Arsenal in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday night.

The Gunners can still qualify for next season’s Champions League if Arsenal win the Europa League final.

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