Lineker: Arsenal could end up like Man United

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: The Arsenal team team take part in a minute of silence in tribute to Emiliano Sala prior to the Premier League match between Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion at Craven Cottage on January 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Arsenal could be set to face a long and difficult spell trying to reinvent themselves in a similar way to what Manchester United have suffered since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, says Gary Lineker.

The Gunners are currently in the middle of their first campaign without Arsene Wenger at the helm after 22 years.

The Frenchman left Arsenal last summer with a record of 700 wins in 1212 matches in charge with three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups to his name.

New manager Unai Emery has been left with some big boots to fill as a result and he’s already experienced his fair share of highs and lows in his first campaign in charge at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners currently sit in sixth place in the Premier League table and are through to the knockout stages of the Europa League.

But hopes of reaching the top-four and returning to Champions League football may have to wait a little longer, as far as Lineker is concerned.

The former Barcelona and Tottenham forward cited the example of United, who are still struggling to recover from Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 after 27 years in the dugout at Old Trafford.

The Scot won 758 of his 1224 games in charge of United and led the club to an unprecedented 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four EFL Cups and two Champions Leagues

Since Ferguson’s exit, United have turned to David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho to restore their glory days with little success.

And Lineker believes Arsenal are heading down a similar road and gave his views on what the Gunners are currently lacking in their attempts to return to the Champions League.

“Quality of players,” Lineker told Football London.

“I was talking the other day with a couple of mates about how many Arsenal players would you put in either City, Liverpool or Tottenham’s side, or even United’s side.

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“How many Arsenal players would get in any of those four teams? One or two possibly in one or two clubs maybe, no more than that.

“I think that says it all.

“He [Emery] will need a few windows to find good players.

“Just because you’ve spent big money, which is not what they’ve really done, even if they did they’ve got to get it absolutely right.

“Their recruitment is going to be vital.

“I think rather like Manchester United after Sir Alex left, I think they’re in for a spell.

“I think it’s always hard after a manager has been so dominant at a club for so long, like Arsene Wenger was and like Sir Alex was, it’s hard for a club to kind of reinvent itself which is what they’re trying to do.

“It could be long and a bit of a wait for them.”

Arsenal will face Huddersfield Town in the Premier League today with kick-off set for 4:00 PM (CET).