London: Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis believes that the club's biggest challenge would be finding manager Arsene Wenger's replacement when the Frenchman leaves.
Wenger, who turns 65 on 22 October, signed a new three-year deal in May. Gazidis said that the biggest challenge Arsenal is going to face as a club is that transition Wenger to the next manager, adding that they have a giant who is managing them.
Gazidis said that Wenger has put the club in a great, great position. Arsenal has qualified for the Champions League for 17 consecutive seasons under Wenger and the Frenchman led them to their first piece of silverware in nine years in May when they beat Hull City in the FA Cup final, The BBC reported.
Appointed in September 1996 as a relative unknown whose previous post had been in charge of Japanese side Grampus Eight, Wenger is currently the longest-serving manager in English league football.
Wenger steered Arsenal to the Premier League title in 1997-98, 2001-02 and 2003-04.
The club moved from Highbury to the newly-built Emirates Stadium at the start of the 2006-07 season and Gazidis believes that the extra revenues generated have helped Wenger in the transfer market, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez brought in for a combined total of approximately 77 million pounds over the past year.
Wenger said that the last five years of unlocking their international and commercial revenues is so important for the club, adding that it allows them to go out and, if the manager believes in someone like Ozil, he can buy him, adding that it's the same with Sanchez.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown agreed with Gazidis, but believes Wenger could have a role to play at the club even after leaving as manager.
Keown said that he could see the Frenchman floating around the training ground in a non-confrontational way, just keeping an eye on things, adding that who would not want a man of that experience and quality working alongside them.