Not surprisingly others have noticed as well. Get French Football News ran quite a piece on Nice and their manager a while back, and Arsenal very obviously have a contact with the club – David Ospina came from there in 2014. And Squwaka ran the headline “Lucien Favre should replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal this summer” in January.
Nice have not been without problems this season despite doing very well on the pitch for such a small club. A year ago the top scorers, Hatem Ben Arfa and Valère Germain, along with the club captain Nampalys Mendy and the coach, all left the club.
Then both Wylan Cyprien and Alassane Pléa (who at the time was the leading scorer) suffered season ending injuries and Paul Baysse, Ricardo Pereira, Valentin Eysseric, Younès Belhanda and Mario Balotelli have all been out injured. Which means that when the media finally pick up on the issue of Lucien Favre possibly coming to Arsenal that is what they will focus on, while going back to all their wild stories about Arsenal’s injury level. I just thought I should warn you.
GFFN commented that “Nice’s form seems a minor miracle. Much of the credit has to go to Lucien Favre, who has used an ingenious variety of tactics to manage these absences. The team started the season playing a 4-3-3 before moving to three at the back. More recently, in the absence of Cyprien, they have moved to a 4-2-3-1. Pereira, brought in as a right-back, has been used as an orthodox winger, which has allowed Seri to push further forwards. A defensive midfielder upon his arrival, the Ivorian has been a revelation this season in a more attacking role, with 10 assists and six goals.”
Exactly the sort of flexibility that some commentators perceive Mr Wenger not to have (wrongly perceive I think, but we’ll let that go for now).
But Nice also has a director of scouting, Serge Recordier, who specialises in the old Wengerian approach, and indeed the club has built a new youth academy centre in recent years. It certainly sounds viable to me.