Head of Football: Academy needs to be the backbone of Arsenal

23 May 2019

Photo: Getty Images Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi are the only one in the current squad who have come all the way through the ranks from Arsenal’s academy to the first team.

Arsenal’s academy needs to produce more players for the first team, according to their head of football, Raul Sanllehi.

The new direction is not only about finances, but just as much a question of identity. 

The restructuring also means a break with the traditional role of the manager, who will be replaced by a first team coach and a technical director. 

Christian Fomsgaard Jensen cfj@offthepitch.com

Arsenal have not won a championship since their marvellous 2003/04 campaign, when they touched on invincibility, winning 26 games and drawing 12 to ultimately secure them 90 points. Since then they’ve been referred to secondary places in the Premier League and three FA Cup wins as well as three Community Shields.

Six trophies since 2014 might not sound terrible, but they are not the trophies a club like Arsenal are aiming for. As a result, they are restructuring the club with a different mindset. Instead of buying players, the backbone of Arsenal needs to come from the academy. 

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