Dean Windass has tipped Mikel Arteta to be the first managerial casualty of the Premier League season and is adamant Arsenal have already earmarked Brendan Rodgers as his successor.
The Gunners head into the new campaign without European football to look forward to for the first time since 1995.
It comes after Arteta, who made 150 appearances for Arsenal during his playing career, could only lead the north London club to an eighth place finish in the Premier League standings last term.
Arteta has reacted by splashing out £50million on Brighton & Hove Albion and England central defender Ben White, while Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga have also joined from Benfica and Anderlecht respectively.
But Arteta, who was named as fellow Spaniard Unai Emery’s replacement in December 2019, will be under pressure to deliver after being backed by the board following a disappointing first full campaign at the helm.
Leicester City boss Rodgers was also linked with the Arsenal post close to two years ago and ex-Premier League striker Windass believes he could be in charge at the Emirates Stadium soon.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, Windass said: “I’m sure Brendan Rodgers could be there in the next three to four months. I think he could be the next Arsenal manager if Arteta struggles. He would be one of the first names on the list, without a shadow of a doubt, if they get off to a bad start.
“Everything changes now because the supporters are back in the stadiums. There is more pressure on the players, manager and board.
“If Arteta doesn’t start well, he could be the first one to go and I think Brendan Rodgers is nailed on to become Arsenal manager.”