Our club have been busy in the last year to replace the regime behind Arsene Wenger.
Jens Lehmann, Darren Burgess, Shad Forsythe, Sven Mislintat are among a raft of names brought in to rejuvenate certain facets of the club.
Some say it is part of the new setup to ensure the transition to a post-Wenger world is as seamless and trouble-free as possible.
Some say it is Ivan Gazidis actually staying true to his word when he promised change.
Regardless, we are actually acting on the years of falling short, and bringing in people who have a reputation of delivering at the front end of the game.
Now, we have a new Head of Football Relations.
We have recruited Raul Sanllehi from FC Barcelona to come in and work closely with new Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat. This new team will help source new talent for the club, and get transfers over the line.
Sanllehi has come in to replace the outgoing transfer ‘guru’ Dick Law. Our transfer policy in recent years has gone from praiseworthy to laughable, so a tried and trusted man like Sanllehi is extremely welcome.
Who is this new fellow though? And why is he an improvement?
Raul Sanllehi was Director of Football from 2008. This is no mean feat when you consider the many turbulent presidencies of Juan Laporta, Sandro Rosell and Josep Bartomeu. It shows he is a safe pair of hands.
He was at the Camp Nou to get deals over the line, something we have lacked with the incompetency of Dick Law in recent years.
Before his years at Barcelona, Sanllehi was involved with Nike. Experience at a big brand like Nike means he is unfazed by anything thrown at him. It also means he has excellent contacts. His rolodex will be a who’s who of sport.
Indeed, even Ivan Gazidis said of his experience and contacts; in a club statement;
“Raul’s appointment is another important step in developing the infrastructure we need at the club to take everything we do to the next level. Raul has extensive contacts across the football world and has been directly involved in some of the biggest transfers in Europe in recent years. We look forward to bringing that expertise to Arsenal.”
Sanllehi will initially be working alongside Wenger, but this appointment is very much planning for the future.
We now have excellent and intelligent people in the most important posts at the club who are in touch with innovative methods and the modern game.
We are well placed for the future with this recruitment drive. When the time comes to replace Wenger, our team should be able to keep the club firmly on track.