Wenger backs Southgate for permanent England role

Arsene Wenger believes that England has an outstanding candidate to be appointed as the next permanent manager in Gareth Southgate.

Wenger, whose contract with Arsenal expires until the end of the season, had been linked as one of the candidates to take over the England job after Sam Allardyce’s prompt dismissal last month.

However, new reports indicated that Arsenal would offer him a new contract, and the Frenchman had also gradually distanced himself from the possibility of taking the England job next summer.

This also meant that Wenger would be extending his time managing in the Premier League up to more than 20 years.

“Is Southgate the outstanding candidate for the job? Yes,” Wenger said, when a question was put forth to him ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Swansea City.

“In England, there’s always the demand for the big names – that is the difficulty. What is most important to me is the competence of the person and, if a person is competent, then he can make a name for himself.”

“He [Southgate] has a good opportunity to show that. I’m happy to see that he has an opportunity to show that he has quality. He has handled himself quite well.”

“He has accumulated experiences, first with Middlesbrough and now with the FA. He was a good observer of what was going on in the English national team and, after that, we’re in a job where you are questioned, especially when you have less experience.”

“The only answer he can give is by doing his job, and our job is selection and decision making. He has to show that the decisions he makes are the right ones, and that he has the strength to do what he believes is right.”

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