Gary Neville can see Arsene Wenger resigning as Arsenal boss at the end of the season with 12 months still remaining on the manager’s contract.
The Sky Sports’ pundit also believes the addition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last week shows Wenger is losing control of the club.
The Gunners have struggled on the pitch of late, but in the transfer window they will be pretty happy with their January business. Three players came in for a total spend of £61.8m, while they made £50m getting out four players.
Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are their two marquee signings, but Carragher has raised the possibility that the former may struggle to form a partnership with current striker Alexandre Lacazette.
‘I can’t help thinking that Aubameyang coming in, there’s no way him and Lacazette can form a partnership, I just don’t see that at all. They both look like penalty box strikers.
‘I think Aubameyang’s goals for Dortmund, only one was outside the box. That’s not a problem, but it shows he’s a penalty box centre-forward, he’s exactly like Lacazette.
‘I could actually see Lacazette moving on at the end of the season, but big signings. Going forward for Arsenal, you still worry that the problems at the other end of the pitch have still not been rectified.’
Carragher raises the point that the two big signings, from Dortmund and Manchester United respectively, represent a huge shift in culture for Arsene Wenger and the club.
‘These signings are not typical Arsene Wenger, really. Aubameyang is 28, Mkhitaryan is 29, it’s not normally something Wenger does.
‘There’s now a man behind the scenes from Borussia Dortmund, and these two players have come from Dortmund if you like.
‘Is this Wenger’s last throw of the dice to stay in the top four or keep his job, or is his power shifting? I actually think it’s the second one.’
Aubameyang’s move to Arsenal was fairly simple in comparison to other deals, with no rival clubs trying to swoop for their man. According to Neville, that doesn’t happen without good reason.
‘No-one gets a free run at a player like that anymore for that price,’ he said. ‘When I think of City needing a new striker, they’ve been in for Sanchez. Chelsea: looking at Giroud. United, signing Sanchez but never linked at Aubameyang.
‘You think of Klopp, signing him at Dortmund, needing a back-up striker for Firmino. There was never a mention of other clubs for Aubameyang.’
So is the end nearing for Wenger? Using Sir Alex Ferguson and his ‘mess’ at United after announcing his retirement, Neville came up with a theory that the Frenchman may well be preparing to pack his bags for good.
‘I think it might be a situation where they say, “We’ll give you a two-year contract,” that puts the questions to bed for another 18 months. But actually, next summer when no-one expects it, we’ll wake up one morning and he’ll say “I’m resigning as Arsenal manager.” That’s a fact, I know that will happen because he will not be able to tell anyone he’s doing it, just like Sir Alex Ferguson.
‘So I think this may be Arsene Wenger’s last season at Arsenal and they’ve thrown everyone with the two-year contract.’