According to Amy Lawrence, Arsenal’s decision to part company with Steve Morrow is part of a process to further streamline youth development at the club’s Academy.
Writing in The Athletic (£), it’s revealed that new technical director Edu is leading the restructure in conjunction with Academy Manager Per Mertesacker and that the duo deemed Morrow’s position as Head of Youth Scouting to be expendable.
The former Northern Ireland international, who famously scored the winning goal for the Gunners in the 1993 League Cup final, was an unsuccessful candidate for Edu’s position.
The Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel claims that Morrow will land on his feet with the FA apparently impressed by his work and eager to offer him a position.
Morrow isn’t the only casualty. While it was previously reported that seven other scouts have also lost their job, Amy writes that the number is five.
It remains to be seen whether there’s any truth to a rumour doing the rounds that Manchester City’s Joe Shields – the man credited with recruiting Jadon Sancho – is wanted at Hale End.
Mertesacker took over the reins at Hale End in July 2018 and has been working with Edu for just under four months.
Back in September, the German told Arseblog News: “I needed to get our house in order first. And get to know the ones [players and staff] inside.
“Edu now coming in is another challenge. How does it fit? How does he fit in? At the moment there are many, many challenges I have to tackle internally so that I’m in a position in one or two years to look for input from other countries, academies, sports to take things to another level.”
Earlier in the summer, the club made a big song and dance about its dedication to producing homegrown talents as it confirmed Freddie Ljungberg and Steve Bould would swap places.
“Identifying, recruiting and developing young players is a key part of our strategy,” said Head of Football Raul Sanllehi.
“We have some great talent coming through our younger age groups and, like all top clubs, the challenge is to help them make the most of their abilities.”
Arsenal’s squad to face Vitoria this afternoon includes four English youngsters to pass through the Academy plus Hector Bellerin and Emi Martinez who both played for our youth teams.