Monchi spent 17 years as Sevilla’s director of football before leaving in 2017. Photograph: Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty Images
A few weeks back it looked almost certain Arsenal had found the man to become their first technical director in the club’s history with Unai Emery wanting to reunite with old friend Monchi, whom he had worked with at Sevilla, to control transfer dealings at the Emirates. After Roma’s Champions League run came to an end at the hands of Porto, Monchi decided to step down from his role as technical director for the club – much to the pleasure of the Giallorossi fans. The Spaniard built a reputation for gaining high profits from sales of players such as: Jose Antonio Reyes, Sergio Ramos and Jesus Navas for £75m, who were part of the club’s academy in the early 2000’s. Sevilla have called for their main man to return after he was on the verge of signing a deal for Arsenal on a £2.5m a year contract. Jose Castro Carmona announced that his club were in talks to bring home Monchi after his 2 year stay in Italy and it now looks as if a deal has been completed according to many reliable journalists across Europe.
Arsenal have struggled in recent years in gaining any income from their player sales and a self-sustaining club like the Gunners need to excel in that department to be able to expand. Player contracts have been the biggest cost as the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere will have left for free due to poor contract negotiation, partially down to the role of former CEO Ivan Gazidis.
Who will Arsenal turn to?
The next man in line to join is likely to be former player Marc Overmars, who is running things behind the scenes at Ajax FC and has done a tremendous job in getting the club close to the level it had during the early 1970s. Since 2012, Overmars has spent £136.29m across 14 transfer windows and compared to the other clubs in the Champions League that is similar to the amount they’d spend in 2 windows. From the money spent by Ajax in the last 6 seasons, they have brought in plenty of talent for low prices and sold them at a profit. The development of players such as: Frenkie De Jong, Davinson Sanchez, Arkadiusz Milik have been the reason Overmars has generated £320.64m in sales. As well as searching for raw talent, the club has created one of the strongest academies in the world that have produced many of the first team players at the club today including club captain Matthijs de Ligt.
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sold to Juventus from Arsenal for just £11m, which is three times less than his current market value. (Credit: Sky Sports)
At the moment, Arsenal along with Chelsea and Everton have numerous youngsters coming through the ranks and performing well in competitions like the Europa League and Carabao Cup. In past seasons, Arsenal has failed to get any sort of valuable revenue from sales of academy graduates. For instance, Serge Gnabry and Wojciech Szczesny were both sold for a total of £16m and are now both playing for some of Europe’s elites and worth nearly 5 times the amount they were sold for in 2016. Emile Smith-Rowe and Xavier Amaechi are players who can represent a change in the mentality of the Arsenal board by potentially selling them for triple their value in the future and help Arsenal to regenerate income every season as owner Stan Kroenke continues to be stubborn with his lack of investment. Finally, Overmars has hinted at a possible return to North London and stated that the first player he’d sign was Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, for around £75m. The next few months will be tricky for Raul Sanllehi and Josh Kroenke in recruiting a technical director as they look ahead to a crucial summer transfer window.