Pep Guardiola says Patrick Vieira is ready to take over from Arsene Wenger if the Arsenal board want him to, claiming the former Gunner is already a top manager.

Vieira is one of the names the media are most strongly linking to the job after Wenger announced his departure from the club on Friday. Although the Frenchman played down the links not long afterwards, Guardiola gave his backing to the 41-year-old.

“Of course, he already is [a top manager],” he told reporters. “Now, with what happened [at Arsenal], there is a lot of names there. Arsenal is going to take the best decision for them.

“But, of course, he is ready. I think all the names that are going to start to go — this name or this name or the other one — all of them, they are ready.”

Despite what Guardiola says, the main hesitation when considering Vieira for the job is still his lack of experience.

No one doubts the former club captain’s passion for Arsenal, and he’s done a good job managing in the MLS. New York City are top of the league at this early stage of the season. He’d also be someone all Gunners fans could get behind, given his history.

It’s just the almost two years in charge of an MLS side and another two in charge of the Manchester City reserves doesn’t give us much of an idea of how he’d handle a top club.

There’s so much going on at Arsenal, and for a long time Wenger has taken care of pretty much all of it. That’s starting to change already, with more responsibility for the new hires this year, but it’s still a massive job.

We’ll see if the board think Vieira is up for it.