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‘Wilder has to be in Arsenal conversation’ – Sheffield United boss could succeed Emery, says Merson

17:46 EAT 16/11/2019
Chris Wilder Sheffield United 2018-19
The former Gunners star believes a manager doing a fine job at Bramall Lane has shown himself to be deserving of a “big job” in the Premier League

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has shown himself to be deserving of a “big job” and should be “in the conversation” if Arsenal decide to part with Unai Emery, says Paul Merson.

The Blades boss is currently filling his dream post, having grown up supporting the club he is now in charge of.

Emotional ties would be difficult to sever, but the opportunity to land a prized role may be too difficult to turn down.

Wilder has shown that he can compete with the Premier League elite, with Sheffield United currently sat fifth in their first season back in the big time.

Merson believes those efforts should be recognised by any leading side considering a change in the dugout, with some serious questions being asked of Emery’s ongoing presence at Emirates Stadium.

The former Arsenal forward told the Daily Star: “Chris Wilder has done a fantastic job at Sheffield United and deserves a crack at a really big job at some point.

“We should all be talking about him right now but we’re not. Maybe his name’s too English? But look at what he’s achieved.

“He was successful at Oxford and Northampton. Two tough jobs. And he’s taken Sheffield United back into the Premier League.

“They are not keeping all those clean sheets by sticking ten men behind the ball either. They play some lovely stuff, get people in the box, and have a go at teams.

“I think they have actually been a bit unlucky in some games this season but to see them up there in fifth is phenomenal.

“I watched them play Arsenal and there was only one team who knew what they were doing. Arsenal had no idea. That’s good coaching.

“Managers like Unai Emery and Manuel Pellegrini are under pressure, and okay, you never know for sure if a manager can make such a big step up.

“But Chris Wilder has got to be in the conversation the next time a big job comes up. He deserves it.”

Emery’s Arsenal sit level on points with the Blades at present, but have slipped eight adrift of the top four and a Spanish tactician is considered by many to be on borrowed time as he fails to oversee the progress expected when he was appointed as successor to the legendary Arsene Wenger.