Arsenal would be absolutely foolish to appoint unproven £2.5m Portuguese as their manager

Why Arsenal appointing Sousa as manager would be a risky affair

According to French publication L’Equipe (h/t The Sun), Arsenal have made a managerial approach for Bordeaux boss Paulo Sousa.

The Portuguese who has had previous experience coaching in England with Queens Park Rangers, Swansea and Leicester City, has been confirmed as Gunners’ latest target, the report claims.

Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who was sacked recently after a string of poor displays.
Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who was sacked recently after a string of poor displays. (Getty Images)

Arsenal sacked Unai Emery after a poor string of results. Now, Sousa has emerged as one of their targets in recent days. The 49-year-old Sousa had replaced former Premier League boss Gus Poyet in March as the Ligue 1 outfit’s coach.

However, since taking charge, he has brought in vast improvements to the side as they sit 5th in the league table, having finished 14th last season. Having said that, let’s take a closer look at the former Portuguese player and see if he would be a suitable fit at a top club such as Arsenal.

Inexperience in managing top clubs

The fact that Arsenal are interested in the not-so-famous Sousa comes as a big surprise. Having previously managed by the legendary Arsene Wenger, Arsenal dominated English football for quite some time.

 Bordeaux manager Paulo Sousa.
Bordeaux manager Paulo Sousa. (Getty Images)

They still remain as one of the top clubs in Europe, despite their poor showings in recent times. Even bringing in a high-profile coach such as Emery did not bring in many changes, as Arsenal finished fifth last year and are currently struggling too.

Hence, Gunners’ decision to consider someone like Sousa, who has so far not managed a top club raises serious doubts in the minds of footballing fans.

Before making a switch to France earlier this year, he was previously coaching Chinese outfit Tianjin Quanjian, whom he joined in November 2017.

Prior to this, he had stints with clubs such as Fiorentina, FC Basel, Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Videoton FC. His resume alone speaks volumes about his lack of experience in managing a big club.

Sousa while managing Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian.
Sousa while managing Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian. (Getty Images)

However, he has managed clubs in England before and this could come in handy for the Portuguese when Arsenal weigh their options in the coming days. It seems the Portuguese is believed to be available for a cheap compensation amount of £2.5million, according to the report.  

No major trophies

Except for winning the Swiss League title with FC Basel in 2014-15 and the Israeli League title with Maccabi Tel Aviv (2013-14), Sousa has no other major trophies under his belt.

It is crystal clear that Sousa has not yet achieved anything major or worthwhile. Taking 5th-placed Bordeaux closer to the Championship berth has been his biggest achievement so far in recent times.

Portuguese Sousa during his managerial stint with Italian outfit Fiorentina.
Portuguese Sousa during his managerial stint with Italian outfit Fiorentina. (Getty Images)


With such a cheap price tag on his head, the offer does look tempting. However, it would be a major gamble if Arsenal decide to sign the Portuguese coach, who has never managed a big club.

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Moreover, he does not possess a glittering trophy cabinet or list of awards which would put him in high stead for the Arsenal managerial position. Moreover, considering Arsenal’s poor displays in recent times, it seems like a risky decision rather than a thoughtful one.

Written by Siddharth Suresh

Hello folks, I am an avid football follower who likes to read, report and play the world's most beautiful game. My other hobbies include writing poetry, traveling and exploring new cultures.
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