Arsenal have parted ways with head of football Raul Sanllehi.
We are announcing today that head of football Raul Sanllehi is leaving the club and Vinai Venkatesham, our current managing director, will lead us going forward.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 15, 2020
The Spaniard joined Arsenal in February 2018 as Head of Football Relations, and was promoted to the role following the departure of CEO Ivan Gazidis.
Current managing director Vinai Venkatesham will take charge of the role going forward, and former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has reacted thus to the development on Twitter:
Protect Mikel at all costs!
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) August 15, 2020
It will be interesting to see if any more changes will happen at the top, but head coach Mikel Arteta will hope that doesn’t affect the club’s business in the summer transfer window.
Sanllehi sanctioned the transfer deals for the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos and Kieran Tierney, but Arsenal are already investigating why they had to part with £72 million for the signature of the Ivory Coast international.
The former Barcelona chief was also responsible for the appointment of Arteta as head coach and Edu as technical director, and his exit has come as a huge shock as no one saw it coming.
Sanllehi’s exit appears to be part of a wider restructuring of the club’s football operation following the exits of head of international scouting Francis Cagigao, head of UK scouting Peter Clark and scout Brian McDermott a few weeks ago.
Arsenal look to be moving away from a scouting recruitment model and could be moving towards an agent-led approach.