Remi Garde has the intelligence to be a success at Aston Villa, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Garde is the favourite to take over at Villa Park following the sacking of Tim Sherwood last Sunday.
Sherwood was relieved of his duties with Villa having taken just four points from their opening 10 league fixtures after helping the Midlands club survive relegation last term.
Garde left Lyon at the end of the 2013-14 season for personal reasons having led the Ligue 1 club to Coupe de France glory in 2012.
The 49-year-old played under Wenger at Arsenal from 1996 to 1999 and, speaking at a news conference on Friday, the Arsenal boss said: “I am convinced he is a front-runner. Remi is an intelligent man who is now experienced.
“He will try to get his ideas across and hopefully he can work.
“They [Villa] have five or six French players who have not all had an impact.”
On Sherwood’s exit, Wenger added: “Honestly I have a lot of respect for all the managers at Villa – I believe Sherwood was not given time. [predecessor Paul] Lambert was not given time. I don’t know why.”