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    Could Dennis Bergkamp be Returning Soon?

    What seemed unlikely at the end of last week could well now become a reality. Earlier this week it was announced that the Arsenal academy director Andries Jonkers was leaving the club to take up the vacant head coaching position at beleaguered Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg. So what does all of this have to do with club legend Dennis Bergkamp. Well the Dutchman is now one of the leading candidates to replace Jonkers and return to the North London club where he spent eleven years. 

    Bergkamp is currently the assistant manager at boyhood club Ajax, a role he has held for six years, although in recent seasons his presence has taken on more of a behind the scenes coaching role rather than the traditional role of an assistant coach. With six years of experience in a good European league such as the Eredivisie he is clearly qualified to take on the role, and he would certainly be welcomed back with open arms by Arsenal. 

    Bergkamp has taken on a legend status with the club since his retirement in 2006 and the club commissioned a statue of the Dutchman in February 2014. At the ceremony to unveil the statue Bergkamp commented that in the future he would love to coach abroad. Speaking at the ceremony he said "I have just started my career at Ajax as an assistant coach, being part of the Ajax philosophy, trying to get players through the system.We just started that,so I don't think now is the time to leave that aside and do something else, but in the future I would love to come to this country, to this league and this club especially."

    Bergkamp posing with his statue at the unveiling in February 2014. Photo copyright Arsenal FC/Getty Images. 

    During his playing career Bergkamp made over 400 appearances for Arsenal and scored 123 goals in his role as a second striker, most devastatingly with fellow club legend Thierry Henry. With such a dynamic attacking duo, ably backed up by the likes of Robert Pires and Freddy Ljunberg, the club had arguably it's most successful period. Between the years of 1995 and 2006 Arsenal won three Premier League titles, three F.A Cups and three Community Shields. The club also came within 15 minutes of winning the 2006 Champions League and the team achieved an unprecedented unbeaten season on route to the 2003-04 Premier League title. The team were labelled 'The Invincibles', and their feat has only been matched in recent memory by Italian giants Juventus in 2012.

    Of course Bergkamp is not the only contender for the role with other less high profile names also being strongly considered for the position. Fellow cult Arsenal hero Steve Morrow is thought to be a very strong contender for the position, and is highly regarded by the club after impressing in his scouting role over the past few years. The fact he has also already worked within the club for several years is a plus for him as he knows the inner workings of the club. The fact he is also well liked by fans after his first goal for the club proved the winner in the 1993 League Cup, means he is likely the favorite for the role. 

    Another name being thrown into the mix is the current Barcelona B academy boss Pep Segura, who has some experience of English football thanks to a three year stint with Liverpool as technical manager of the academy between 2009 and 2012. Since 2015 he has been overseeing the academy at Barcelona B, a key pipeline to one of the world's best teams. The experience he has already amassed over three years within English football and the pedigree he will have acquired in his 18 months within the world famous La Masia academy at Barcelona would make him a very good candidate for the vacant position at Arsenal. 

    Steve Morrow celebrating scoring the winner in the 1993 League Cup. A few hours later he would be in hospital with a broken arm. Photo copyright Daily Mail.

    These are the three names which are being most strongly linked with the vacant scouting position at Arsenal. Whilst the North London club are seen increasingly in European circles as a team that is losing it's grip on the top tier sides, it's academy is still well regarded with the football world. The position is clearly an attractive one with the infrastructure and potential to develop world class players. 

    Whilst many Arsenal fans will be hoping that it's the legendary Bergkamp who is appointed for the role, it seems he may be more of a pipe dream. Whilst he is definitely a serious candidate and has the necessary qualifications along with authority to take on the role, the other two names are also very strong contenders. Morrow is another well liked former player and he has the benefit of already working with the club, therefore it would be logical that he earns a promotion to the head of the academy.

    On the other hand, Pep Segura has an enhanced reputation thanks to his current work with Barcelona and their world renowned academy. The fact he also has experience of English football can only help his case should he want the job. Any one of these three names would be good appointments for the club and could really help them develop their young players. Whether any of these three get the job or whether it goes to someone else, the club has a big decision to make with this appointment. With the future of manager Arsene Wenger under intense scrutiny, could this appointment be a trial run before being appointed the first team manager? Only time will tell. 

    Feel free to follow me on Twitter @brfcjordan95 and thank you for reading. Any comments would be greatly appreciated!


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    Item Reviewed: Could Dennis Bergkamp be Returning Soon? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jordan Wilkins
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