Last season, we were promised a “big shake up” at Arsenal by Ivan Gazidis.
There was talk of a Director of Football coming in and a host of back room changes.
What materialised was Arsene Wenger signed a new two year deal and not much really changes bar a fitness and some dude from Sky coming in.
More recently, we also saw Dick Law, the man who could not negotiate, leave the club. I imagine he didn’t negotiate his own severance package.
So two more years of same old rubbish with Arsene Wenger, it seemed.
Well maybe not. The moves being made over the last week or so could lead to Arsene Wenger’s exit as early as the end of the season, leaving his role a year before his contract is due to expire.
Just yesterday it was announced that Arsenal had hired Borussia Dortmund’s highly-rated chief scout Sven Mislintat as their new head of recruitment.
The 45-year-old German has been brought in to oversee the club’s scouting and recruitment alongside manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
Chief scout Steve Rowley has stepped down from his role but will continue working with the club on a consultancy basis during a phase.
The news of Arsene Wenger’s loyal eyes Steve Rowley leaving is as big as Mislintat coming in.
Rowley, 58, who pre-dates Wenger’s 1996 arrival, will step down as chief scout. He was with Wenger through his successful first decade at Arsenal and beyond, elevated to the position of chief scout by the current Arsenal manager having worked his way up the hierarchy.
He is most certainly one of Wenger’s men.
On the heels of this news is the continual gossip of a new Director of Football coming in.
Despite Wenger previously dismissing the idea, and Gazidis being voted down, the CEO has pressed with his search and seems close to making a decision.
Reports from Germany indicate that Arsenal are ‘set to pay £1.75m’ to buy Michael Zorc out of Borussia Dortmund contract and appoint him in new sporting director role.
There has also been continual talk out of Spain that Gazidis is preparing for Wengers exit and wants to hire Barcelona’s Director of Football Raul Sanllehi.
These big moves will loosen the grip of Arsene Wenger, as scouting of players and the overall running of the club look to be taken away from him.
The only logical conclusion of all this is that Wenger is likely to leave Arsenal this summer, with the new management structure having bedded down and appoint their own man.
This could be the last season Wenger has at Arsenal.