‘I want a group working together. Less people with much more responsibilities’: Edu explains the major overhaul of Arsenal’s scouting department this summer in move to an agent-led recruitment process
- Arsenal technical director Edu has explained the club’s recruitment overhaul
- Several long-serving staff members in the department were let go by the club
- Members of the hierarchy were frustrated by too many involved in transfers
- The former Invincible says he wants ‘less people with more responsibilities’
Edu has explained Arsenal’s recruitment restructure was planned because he wanted less people working with more responsibility.
A number of long-serving Arsenal scouts at senior and youth level and at home and abroad have departed the club in an overhaul of the department.
Among the exits was renowned global scout Francisco Cagigao, who unearthed the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal Technical Director Edu explained the club’s major scouting overhaul in the summer
The former invincible (L) says he wants ‘less people with more responsibility’ in the process
Head of UK scouting Peter Clark and fellow talent spotter Brian McDermott were told they would lose their jobs.
Scouts who cover France, Belgium, Germany, Scotland, Spain and Italy were also included in the cull.
The changes added to the fears that the overhaul was part of a move by Arsenal to switch to a more agent-led recruitment process.
Sportsmail understands some Arsenal officials had voiced frustration at the number of people involved in the process of buying players, something which slowed attempts to get things done.
Technical director Edu said: ‘It is simple for me. With my position here I want to put in place one clear process how we are going to sign, who gets the responsibilities, where we start to understand where we need the player, the position we need, the characteristics we need. That has to be very clear internally right now.
‘The decision we made, to change a little bit our infrastructure, it is clear for me. I want to work with less people. I want to work with (data analytics company) StatDNA a lot more, which we have internally here at the club and is very important.
The club let go a number of long-serving members of staff in a major overhaul of recruitment
‘The people I want to work with, I want them to be very close to me. I want to create a group of people working together.
‘I don’t want individual people working in one area or for one country. I want a group working together. Less people with much more responsibilities.
‘That is my vision and for me in this process the most important thing is that everyone is very clear on the responsibilities which everyone has to make the right decision.’
Following the departure of head of football Raul Sanllehi, Edu will now be the club’s first point of contact for anyone wishing to do transfer business with the north Londoners.
Head of football Raul Sanllehi departed and Edu will now be first point of contact for transfers
‘It is important to be clear,’ the former Gunners midfielder and member of their Invincibles squad said.
‘What I would like from now is for everything related to football has to come through me.
‘All the contacts, if agents want to talk to the player, internally, externally etc, outside people have to see me – and my name – as the first one to call or connect to internally.
‘How we go to the market and our strategy, I have to decide a little bit. Of course we have a lot of people involved but I just want to be clear, people outside Arsenal have to understand who they need to connect to about football.
‘It is important because sometimes they feel unclear about it. To be clear and open with you, that is how we are going to operate.’
Though chief executive Vinai Venkatesham was keen to stress that the increase in Edu’s power is not connected to the surprise departure of Sanllehi last month.
Vinai Venkatesham is now the club’s chief executive after Ivan Gazidis made his deprature
‘No no. That wasn’t part of the Raul stuff,’ Venkatesham said: ‘On Raul, I don’t have much to add to what we put out in the statement we made.
‘What I would say, because there are a lot of things that have been written and said, Raul is a top quality professional who worked brilliantly hard at this football club and is going to remain a close personal friend of mine for life.
‘I don’t want to get too much into the Raul stuff but I do want to say that because that is what I think and feel because a lot has been written. I only have positive things to say about Raul. ‘Going forward, what we are trying to do is create a structure that has really clear roles and responsibilities, so everybody knows exactly what they are doing, internally and externally and everybody is accountable for what they are doing internally.’
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