Vermaelen backs Chelsea-linked Luis Enrique for Premier League job

Chelsea have been linked with appointing Luis Enrique and Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen says the coach would do a good job.

Published : Feb 17, 2018 00:44 IST

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen believes the club's former coach Luis Enrique could be a big success in the Premier League.

Luis Enrique, on sabbatical after leaving Barca at the end of last season, has been linked with replacing the under-pressure Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

The 47-year-old won three Copa del Rey titles and LaLiga twice during his time in charge at Camp Nou, as well as leading Barcelona to the Champions League crown in 2014-15.

Vermaelen was a bit-part player at Barca under Luis Enrique but remains full of praise for his old boss.

"I think it's similar to what you're seeing with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City," the centre-back told the Guardian.

"You bring a bit of the Spanish influence into English football and it might take time but it can work very well.

"I had a very good relationship with Luis Enrique. The way he talks to players is very good. He knows how to make a player feel right.

"If you asked me about the best managers I've worked with, I would always include him. Now I'm getting the chance to play more but I'm not going to say that because I was playing less with Luis Enrique he was a bad coach."

Before joining Barca, Vermaelen spent five years at Arsenal, helping the club to win the FA Cup in 2014.

And the Belgium defender believes Arsene Wenger remains the right man for the job at the Emirates Stadium, despite the Gunners sitting sixth in the Premier League.

"It's sad to see them struggling. Arsenal is such a beautiful club; I think a lot of people in England like Arsenal: they have a beautiful stadium and just thinking about how well they played the game," Vermaelen added.

"I'm sure if they knew the reason, they'd do something about it. I always say: 'Be careful what you wish for'. I don't know what's going on now but the club still has that capacity to be a club fighting for the title again.

"Sacking the manager is not always the solution. What Mr Wenger has done for the club is amazing. I think he is still the man to go forward. He has the experience and he is a man of the club."

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