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Arsenal Head Of Football Raul Sanllehi Leaves Club, Replaced By Vinai Venkatesham

Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has left the club and has been replaced by Vinai Venkatesham.

Technical director Edu and boss Mikel Arteta are now in charge of their footballing and recruitment direction.

Venkatesham was the club’s managing director before he replaced Sanllehi as the head of football, with the backing of owners Stan and Josh Kroenke who tasked him to steer the club into a new era alongside Arteta who is trying to re-organize the squad.

Sanllehi joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2017, but the Gunners are understood to have wanted to streamline their off-field structure.

“Raul has made a big contribution during his time with us and will always be part of the Arsenal family,” read a statement from Stan and Josh Kroenke on the club’s website.

“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.”

Venkatesham also thanked the Kroenke brothers and Arsenal’s board, on taking a more central role at the club.

“I am thankful to Stan, Josh and the rest of the Arsenal Board for their trust in me,” Venkatesham said. “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.”

Sanllehi hailed Arteta for his contributions since becoming Arsenal manager, tipping the Gunners for a fruitful phase ahead.

“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,” Sanllehi said.

“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.”

Meanwhile, the summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.

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