Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal head of football, leaves club in structural shakeup

Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal head of football, leaves club in structural shakeup

Raul Sanllehi, the club’s head of football, has left Arsenal, with the managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, assuming responsibility for the director-level football work.

Sanllehi joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2017 but the Gunners are understood to have wanted to streamline their off-field structure. The technical director, Edu, and Mikel Arteta, the manager, will now lead the footballing and recruitment direction at the club.

“Raul has made a big contribution during his time with us and will always be part of the Arsenal family,” said a statement from the club’s owner, Stan Kroenke, and his son Josh, a board member.“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 said: “I am thankful to Stan, Josh and the rest of the Arsenal Board for their trust in me. 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.”