Patrick Vieira is more than ready to step up to the challenge of replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Wenger created shockwaves Friday when he announced in a statement that he would be stepping down from his position after 22 years in charge. The Frenchman is Arsenal's most successful manager of all time, having led them to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups but failed to mount a serious title challenge in recent years, having last won the league back in 2004 when his famous Invincibles side accomplished the feat.

"After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season," Wenger said. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity."

"I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever," he added.

As his fans on social media proceeded to shower him with love and praise for his work over the years, the question now is who is ready to take the reigns from Wenger?

Patrick Vieira Former Arsenal player and New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira has emerged as a contender to replace Arsene Wenger. Pictured: New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira is seen on the sideline during an MLS soccer match against Orlando City SC at the Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Florida, March 5, 2017. Photo: Alex Menendez/Getty Images

New York City FC head coach Vieira has emerged as a leading contender for the role in a move that would see him return to his old club. Vieira, notably Wenger's first-ever signing for the Gunners, was a central figure in Arsenal's success during his time in north London from 1996 to 2005 where he was also captain from 2002.

After retiring from the sport in 2011, he took up a role as Manchester City's elite development squad manager before taking over as manager of New York City FC in 2016, who operate under the City Football Group umbrella.

Guardiola joined City in 2016 and has seen enough of Vieira to know that he is ready for the job.

"Of course, he already is," Guardiola said, when asked if Vieira was ready to succeed Wenger, as per FourFourTwo. "Now, with what happened [Wenger's announcement] there is a lot of names there."

"Arsenal is going to take the best decision for them. But, of course, he is ready. I think all the names that are going to start to go — this name or this name or the other one — all of them, they are ready."

Vieira though, maintained he is happy with the Major League Soccer side even if he is flattered to hear his name be linked with other clubs.

"I spent nine years at Arsenal, which makes the club really special for me," Vieira told New York radio station WNYE. "But that is not enough to coach the team."

"I am always flattered to hear my name linked with different football clubs. That is good for your ego but at the same time, I am happy here. We will see what will happen in the next couple of years," he said.