Arsene Wenger should make up his mind now if he is going to leave because he is hurting Arsenal, warns Jens Lehmann

Lehmann believes Arsenal will not have time to take the right course of action if Wenger decides to leave the club at the end of the season

Jack de Menezes
Friday 17 February 2017 14:10 GMT
Jens Lehmann says Arsene Wenger should make his decision over his future now rather than at the end of the season
Jens Lehmann says Arsene Wenger should make his decision over his future now rather than at the end of the season (Getty)

Jens Lehmann has warned his former manager, Arsene Wenger, that he is hurting Arsenal by not revealing what he will do when his contract expires in the summer, as time is running out for the club to put plans into place if he decides to leave after 20 years at the helm.

As The Independent explained on Thursday, the prospect of Wenger leaving the club may not be such a foregone conclusion given that he is far more than just the manager, given his control in transfers, training and behind-the-scenes matters at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger’s future is a hot topic following the 5-1 defeat by Bayern Munich on Wednesday night that leaves his side facing an almost-certain seventh Champions League last-16 elimination unless they can pull off the most miraculous second-leg comeback, given no side in the European Cup’s history has overturned a four-goal deficit between legs.

Wenger spoke to the media on Friday to reiterate that he has not yet made a decision over if he will sign a new contract when his current deal expires at the end of the season, but his former goalkeeper believes that is not benefitting the club.

Lehmann told Talksport: "If there will be a change in the summer, there is very high pressure on this person to spend money and that is probably too late.

"If Arsene wants to extend his contract, he should do it now so that everybody is clear what is going on and they can make the decision of signing new players.

"If not, he also has to make his decision now."

Wenger has maintained the position this season that he will not decide his future until the end of the season, although following the heavy defeat in Bavaria, he has slightly altered that stance to “April or May”. That means Arsenal’s upcoming run of games, which sees them compete in the Champions League and FA Cup as well as the Premier League.

With Arsenal’s European future looking bleak, and the Gunners 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, Wenger can ill-afford to drop out of the FA Cup over the coming months, with his side due to take on Sutton United in the FA Cup on Monday night.

But regardless of their results, Lehmann believes the end is nigh for Wenger’s spell at Arsenal.

“What was a surprise to me is that after they conceded the third goal [against Bayern] the Arsenal fans were celebrating their own club, which I found amazing, but then after the final whistle they booed their own team and that was a surprise to me because I have never seen that before," Lehmann added.

"These little signs show you what the mood of the fans is like and where the club is going and I think there will be some changes in the summer."

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