On 22 September 1996, a young Frenchman was announced as the new Arsenal football manager. His appointment, demeanour and elaborated speeches about football philosophies were met with initial reluctance but Arsene Wenger didn't care, he had big plans for the club.
Fast forward to 2017 and Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League. Recent years have not been successful for the club but any talk of his resignation was countered with the fact he was crucial to their functionality, Arsenal needed Arsene Wenger.
This season has seen owner Stan Kroenke finally take necessary measures for a post-Wenger era, whenever that may come. Former Barcelona director of football Raul Sanllehi will take a role as head of football relations at Arsenal in the new year. Former Dortmund scout Sven Mislat has also taken a new position at Arsenal.
Now the Telegraph are reporting Mikel Arteta has been identified as Wenger's successor by the Arsenal board. Arteta is currently coaching at Manchester City alongside Pep Guardiola and captained Arsenal as a player. It is reported he was offered a coaching role at Aresnal after his retirement but turned it down in favour of Man City.
In a further twist, Matt Law reports Kroenke's son, Josh, is also a big fan of Thierry Henry. Henry and Arteta both completed their Uefa Pro Licence last September. Henry is currently assistant manager at Belguim.
Tony Cascarino recently spoke on Talksport and also touted Arteta as a future Arsenal boss:
It is well known within the game that Arteta is a great coach. It is the way Arsenal should go. He would do a great job as a manager and he would have the personality.
Wenger has himself predicted Arteta will become a successful manager:
It does appear that for the first time in his reign, Arsenal football club are beginning to plan for a post-Wenger era.
You can read the full Telegraph piece here.