According to the Daily Mail, in what they are claiming as an exclusive, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo is the new favourite to replace Unai Emery as Arsenal manager.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Nuno Espirito Santo, Manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates following his sides victory in the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa at Molineux on November 10, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 10: Nuno Espirito Santo, Manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates following his sides victory in the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa at Molineux on November 10, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

On Tuesday morning, it started to hit Twitter than 45-year-old Nuno Espirito Santo was the new favourite for the Arsenal job. That news seemed to be coming from an article on Give Me Sport, published the night before.

So, the Daily Mail’s claim is not quite the exclusive they make it out to be, but they do carry some more information than that original report, which is mostly based on odds from various bookmakers.

Steve Stammers and Sami Mokbel, who does seem to have Arsenal connections, claim that Emery’s position is being considered on a ‘game-by-game’ basis which is an improvement from the ‘end of season’ nonsense the club were spouting just a week or so ago.

If it’s true, of course.

Raul Sanllehi is said to have a long-standing relationship with Santo’s agent, the infamous Jorge Mendes, but it also helps that Santo has done such a good job at Wolves.

Daily Mail, 27 November, 2019
Daily Mail, 27 November, 2019

Sitting above Arsenal in the table this season, despite also contending with Europa League football on a much-more limited budget, Santo guided Wolves to a seventh-place finish last season after winning the Championship the season before presenting us with a new favourite for the Arsenal job.

Stammers and Mokbel go on to speculate that it could be difficult to get Nuno Espirito Santo away from Wolves mid-season (he’s under contract until 2021) and that Freddie Ljungberg could take over in the interim should they pull the trigger on Emery.

Santo, a former goalkeeper, started his coaching career as a goalkeeping coach with Panathinaikos before becoming manager at Rio Ave.

After 80 games there he went on to become manager of Valencia and FC Porto before moving to Wolves in 2017.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Portuguese midfielder Ivan Cavaleiro (R) starts to celebrate after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 11, 2018. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Portuguese midfielder Ivan Cavaleiro (R) starts to celebrate after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 11, 2018. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

With a team worth significantly less and far fewer resources to hand, Santo is averaging 1.88 points per match in England. The man he is tipped to replace? 1.87.

Santo has faced Arsenal just twice as manager, drawing both games.

Arsenal need to find a solution and take decisive action sooner rather than later if they are to stop a number of high-profile stars, including their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, leaving this summer.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.