Raul Sanllehi: Arsenal director of football leaves the club, replaced by Vinai Venkatesham | Football News

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Raul Sanllehi joined as Head of Football Operations in 2017

Arsenal director of football Raul Sanllehi has left the club and has been replaced by Vinai Venkatesham – with technical director Edu and boss Mikel Arteta leading their football and recruiting direction.

Venkatesham is stepping down from his former managing director role to take on the role of football manager, with owners Stan and Josh Kroenke backing him to lead the club into a new era alongside Arteta, who is tasked with reshaping the Emirates Stadium squad.

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

Vinai Venkatesham became Arsenal's general manager in 2018 but has held various roles at the club since 2010

Vinai Venkatesham became Arsenal’s general manager in 2018 but has held various roles at the club since 2010

“Raul has made a great 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 success in the future. We are convinced that Vinai is the right person to move the club forward.

Mikel Arteta poses with FA Cup after Arsenal win over Chelsea

Mikel Arteta poses with FA Cup after Arsenal win over Chelsea

“He has shown exceptional leadership during the current crisis and is held in high regard internally and externally. We know that everyone will rally around him so that we can move forward successfully. ”

Venkatesham thanked the Kroenke brothers and Arsenal’s board for playing a more central role at the club.

“I thank Stan, Josh and the rest of the Arsenal board for their trust,” Venkatesham said. “I will miss working closely with my colleague and friend Raul, but I look forward to this new challenge.

“There is a lot of work to be done to bring Arsenal back to the top of the game we are in, which our fans rightly demand. While it doesn’t happen overnight, I believe we have many essential ingredients to make it happen.

“There are a lot of positives to build on throughout the club. As football faces uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I have no doubts that Arsenal will emerge with strength and wait with confidence. “

1:02
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Sanllehi hailed manager Arteta’s new leadership, giving the Gunners a successful lead.

“I am proud and happy with the contribution I have made to Arsenal over the past three years and look forward to enjoying the future success of the club. Arsenal is a real football institution, ”said Sanllehi.

“I am proud to have been a part of his story and I thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for this opportunity.

“By working with Vinai, we have built a leading team for the future. Mikel has had an extremely positive impact since joining and has built a strong team with our Technical Director, Edu.

“The academy is in very good hands with Per (Mertesacker), and Huss Fahmy is a talented and highly skilled leader in our football operations.

“Personally, I am now looking forward to taking some time and spending time with my family and friends before I get down to work on a new challenge and cheer Arsenal on to big things. “

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