Arsenal have made a number of changes in their academy after eight people were sacked in a restructuring of the club’s scouting set-up, according to the Daily Mail.
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1993 League Cup hero Steve Marrow, the now-former head of youth scouting, was the highest-profile casualty in the big change from Per Mertesacker and Edu, who were said to be at the forefront of the decision.
Kevin Beadell, Dan Rice, David Lee, Jay Leffe and Joe Sutton, all men who held positions in the academy, are also leaving the club. The decisions have been ratified by the club with the departures thought to be a formality.
The decisions are certainly proving to be a strange one from Mertesacker and Edu if revealed to be true. The north London giants have enjoyed a huge amount of success with their youth players in recent years when it comes to recruitment and under-23 players being promoted to the first-team.
Players like Matteo Guendouzi and Gabriel Martinelli, have proved successes upon arrival at the Emirates Stadium in two of the last three transfer windows.
Guendouzi has become a first-team regular after just one year at the club, starting in all 11 Premier League fixtures so far this campaign (via Transfermarkt). Meanwhile, Martinell became the first Brazilian since Ronaldo Nazario to score seven goals in his first 400 minutes when moving to Europe (via HITC).
This shows that the recruitment part of the club’s academy set-up must be doing something right if the players have been identified, signed and become a success in a short space of time at the club.
On an internal basis, Arsenal are one of the top-seven teams in the top-flight when it comes to giving youth players a first-team chance (via Sky Sports). Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah have all made the move up to the first-team in the last two years.
Willock, Nelson and Saka have all made four league appearances or more, showing the brilliance in the youth team set up at the Emirates Stadium that has allowed the three players to make the step up from the under-23s to the first-team.
The decision to sack people who have contributed to a successful part of the club off the pitch is a strange and potentially wrong move if competent replacements can’t be found. Given the problems currently affecting the first-team, surely there are bigger priorities afoot.
Arsenal fans, what do you make of the decision to sack up to eight members of staff? Let us know your thoughts!
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