Sanllehi exits as Arsenal streamline leadership

 Sanllehi had been with Arsenal since February 2018

 Sanllehi had been with Arsenal since February 2018

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ARSENAL Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has left the club after two-and-a-half years.

The Gunners said that Managing Director Vinai Venkatesham would now “lead us going forward”. The day-to-day footballing side of the business is run by Technical Director Edu, manager Mikel Arteta and Director of Football Operations Hussein Fahmy.

Sanllehi joined Arsenal from Barcelona, where he had worked for 14 years, in February 2018. His original title was Head of Football Relations, but he was promoted to Head of Football when Ivan Gazidis departed in September 2018.

Sanllehi said: “I’m proud and pleased with the contribution I’ve made at Arsenal over the past three years, and look forward to enjoying the club’s future success.

"Arsenal is a true footballing institution. I am proud to have been part of its history and I thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for this opportunity. Working with Vinai, we have built a top team for the future.

"Mikel has made an extremely positive impact since his arrival and has formed a strong team with our technical director, Edu. The Academy is in very safe hands with Per [Mertesacker], and Huss Fahmy is a talented and highly-capable leader of our football operations.

"Personally, I now look forward to taking some time off and spending time with family and friends before setting to work on a new challenge and cheering Arsenal on to great things.”

Venkatesham, who has been with the club since 2010 and became Managing Director following Gazidis’s departure, added: “I am thankful to Stan, Josh and the rest of the Arsenal Board for their trust in me.

“I will miss working closely with my colleague and friend Raul, but I am looking forward to this new challenge. There is much work to do to return Arsenal to the top of the game where we belong, which is what our fans rightly demand.

“While this will not happen overnight, I believe we have many of the critical ingredients to do so. There are many positives to build on across the club.

“While football faces uncertainties ahead as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am confident Arsenal will emerge strongly and look forward with confidence.

“We have, in Edu and Mikel, two individuals who are responsible for our technical plan. Of course, [that is] overseen by me and the board, but those two are the experts and they have a very, very clear plan about how they want to rebalance our squad in the short term, in the medium term and in the long term. We're starting to work on that immediately in this transfer window."

A statement from Arsenal's owners Kroenke Sports and Entertainment read: “Raul has made a big contribution during his time with us and will always be part of the Arsenal family. We thank him for all his hard work and expertise and wish him every future success.

“We have no doubt that Vinai is the right person to take the club forward. He has shown outstanding leadership during the current crisis and is held in high regard internally and externally. We know everyone will rally round him so we can move forward successfully.”

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