Paul Merson would be ‘shocked’ if Arsenal did not appoint Brendan Rodgers as Arsene Wenger’s replacement

Arsene Wenger is under immense scrutiny at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Paul Merson would be ‘shocked’ if Arsenal did not appoint Brendan Rodgers as Arsene Wenger’s replacement.

Wenger, 68, is widely expected to leave the Emirates this summer after spending over two decades in charge of the Gunners.

Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League last year and will also finish outside of the top four this season, having slipped 12 points below Liverpool in fourth.

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The north London outfit also suffered an emphatic defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at the end of last month, although they could still save their campaign in the Europa League.

A number of names have been raised as potential replacements for Wenger but Merson believes Celtic boss Rodgers is the stand-out choice.

‘I don’t know why he doesn’t get the Arsenal job,’ Merson said of Rodgers on Sky Sports. ‘He fits Arsenal great.

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‘The nearest Liverpool have ever come to winning the league for a long long time is when Brendan Rodgers was in charge.

‘He’s done nothing wrong at Celtic. To do what they’ve done… people can say it’s Scottish football and Celtic are head and shoulders above, but every team they played on that run treated it like a cup final, which is difficult sometimes – especially when you’re Celtic and know you’re better than everybody else.

‘I think he [Rodgers] now needs a change and needs to come back down. I’ll be shocked if he didn’t get a good job, I’d be quite shocked if he didn’t get the Arsenal job.’

Brendan Rodgers should be Arsenal’s next manager, says Paul Merson (Picture: Getty)Since taking over at Celtic in 2016, former Liverpool boss Rodgers has won the Scottish Premiership and three cup trophies.

The club are set to win another domestic title this season and Rodgers said he is ‘loving life’ in Scotland when asked about the links with Arsenal.

‘Arsenal is a great club with a great manager,’ he said. ‘People will look at it and see that I went to Liverpool, they were struggling for five seasons for Champions League football and I was able to get them back.

‘When I came to Celtic, they hadn’t been in the Champions
League for three seasons and I got them back.

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‘So maybe people are thinking – okay, Arsenal have been out of the Champions League and that is maybe the equation for someone like myself.

‘However, I’m loving my life up here. I’m not going to be here forever but I’m living in a dream – although dreams always come to an end at some point.

‘I’m always relaxed about speculation and whatnot but my focus is only on Celtic.’

MORE: AC Milan have 30 per cent chance of progressing past Arsenal, says Gennaro Gattuso

Brendan Rodgers explains his role in transforming Philippe Coutinho into a £142m Barcelona player

Brendan Rodgers talks with Philippe Coutinho during their shared time together at Anfield (Getty)Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his influential role in turning Philippe Coutinho from an £8million Liverpool signing into a £142m Barcelona player.

Over the weekend the Brazilian playmaker completed a big-money switch from Anfield to the Nou Camp.

It marked an incredible transition for a player who wasn’t wanted by Inter Milan less than five years ago.

Liverpool managed to sign him during the January transfer window midway through the 2012/13 season during which time Rodgers was at the helm on Merseyside.

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Coutinho is now a Barcelona player (Getty)The current Celtic manager said he could see there was something very special about Coutinho back then.

‘It’s brilliant for both as he is a Barcelona player if ever there was one. At the time when I brought him, he wasn’t in the team at Inter Milan. People questioned whether he was big enough and tall enough.

‘But I’d seen him as a young player at 18 at Inter Milan around top players and I always felt he had the technical quality. And, of course, he was always going to get better physically.

‘We kept in contact ever since we left.’

Rodgers and Coutinho in 2014 (Getty)Rodgers said he then gave Coutinho what he needed to move to the next level – confidence.

‘Before he came over to Liverpool, he was low in confidence.

‘I believed in his ability. It was clear what he was. If you see him play now, he played like that when he was an 11-year-old child, if you see videos of him playing Futsal.

‘He was exactly the same. But he needed that belief. He came in and developed and improved. He was outstanding for me and a real humble boy.’