Earlier today, Arsenal confirmed that they are looking to make 55 employees redundant in the coming weeks citing the need to tighten their belt in response to the financial damage inflicted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
This afternoon, the Daily Mail reports that our head of international scouting, Francis Cagigao is another whose job is on the line.
The trilingual 51-year-old is respected in the game as a leader in his field and has over 23 years of service under his belt.
Alongside former head of scouting Steve Rowley, he played a leading role in the recruitment of a number of players who went on to have impressive careers at the Emirates, including Lauren, Cesc Fabregas, Jose Antonio Reyes, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal, Emi Martinez, Granit Xhaka, Alexis, Carlos Vela, Hector Bellerin, Robin van Persie and most recently Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba.
A former Arsenal player himself, he won the FA Youth Cup in 1988, Cagigao has been something of a survivor up until now. He retained his position when Sven Mislintat was brought in above him during Wenger’s final year and survived the cull that took place after the Frenchman called time on his 22-years at the club.
When Mislintat walked following a disagreement with Raul Sanllehi about the club’s recruitment policy, there was vague talk that he might have increased responsibility. If that was true at the time, it isn’t the case now.
In the last couple of transfer windows, a pattern has emerged whereby the club leans on agents to get deals done. You would imagine that Cagigao’s exit will see that reliance further increase.
The Mail claim that Peter Clark, head of UK scouting, and Brian McDermott, the former Reading manager, will lose their positions at the club.
Earlier this year, Arsenal parted ways with a number of other scouts including Steve Morrow, who was head of youth scouting, Dave Lee, Kevin Beddell, Dan Price and Joe Sutton.
Jason Rosenfeld, the founder of StatDNA, the company that Arsenal bought in 2014 to improve the analytical side of the club also left in March to go and work for Arsene Wenger at FIFA.
It goes without saying that we wish all the best to those who are being forced out of the club at this time. We hope you find gainful employment soon.
What the f*(k is Raul doing?
It’s time to ask whether he’s taking transfer bungs from Kia.
That wouldn’t surprise me in the least….
Back to the George Graham days! He loved a bung!!
Just read todays blog Andrew, excellent and intelligent as always – this article had not come out when I commented on the lay-off article yesterday, and I am one of the people that was commenting on Arsenal being a business and layoffs being essential. I totally get what you are saying, it’s not just a business to us, and it certainly isn’t to me, I love this football club with all my heart, and have done since ’88. It is much more than a business to me, but we cannot expect the same from Stan, there are people voting on… Read more »
I don’t agree but appreciate the thoughtful comment. I think a few things are mixed up here: – Letting the scouts go: Cagigao is undoubtedly good at his job, especially at helping us find young talents and hidden gems and giving them opportunities to fulfill their potential. This has been the Arsenal way for the past two decades. Eviscerating the scouting department – including our analytics department e.g. Rosenfeld and Mislintat – is a fundamental departure from that, and I am deeply apprehensive about what is to come, especially given our last signings are Kia clients on big money and… Read more »
There you go.. As an Arsenal fan, I was enjoying past 3 days without any negative news! Longest stretch I feel.
I think raul sanely just wants more control on transfers and by more control I mean more power to work with agents he has relationships with which can be good or bad. from the way I see it it’ll mostly be bad because its less transparent and creates opportunity for shady deals that won’t benefit the club. there’s a reason Wenger refused to work with certain agents because they proved too shady. For example the Cedric Soares deal is shady as hell, we go loan a player in a position we really don’t need only to then buy him permanently… Read more »
The only way Coutinho and Willian signing could make sense is to allow time to Saka, Smith-Rowe and Nelson to develop. If they buy a player who is 26 then they’re killing Saka and others as Wenger like to put it.
Just to add that such plan fails if the young players do not develop as expected. It already happened to us with Walcott, Ox, Gibbs.
Only Ox really had potential sadly
Sadly is the right word.
Yeh iOS is very shady. Player ratings pages are freezing for me all the time these days…
Tip of the Iceberg. Most clubs will end up releasing people or revising their network. Some of the smaller clubs lower down the pyramid will go bust unless they make huge cuts as they survive on gate money.
Yesterday Dover Athletic in the Vanarama asked their players to take a 20% pay cut to help the club survive. They refused.
The future is looking very bleak for many,many clubs not that further down.
This sounds plausible, but am not sure things will go this way for the PL clubs. For example, we heard about players needing to take pay cuts, but according to Blogs, Arsenal is still the only PL club to have instituted this measure.
Agreed. Am really disappointed by this news. It’s like Arsenal has decided to give up the lightbulbs and revert to candles. A big step backward.
Even if the owners care little about football, how can the coaching staff take this?
Something very eerie going on in the Arse right now. With the possible Willian signing and our increased dependence on super-agents (remember how Arsene was criticized for refusing to work with super-agents?), the sacking of 55 staff members, and now this…where is our beloved club headed?
No, it’s really more the tone of this article that’s eerie. There are nothing but assumptions going on in this comment section and in this article. Chill out.
Remove the capacity to scout players and you only make yourself more dependent on agents. This is very bad.
Don’t get why people are complaining. Willian is a good signing and so is Coutinho if we manage to get it over the line. The reason we are so far behind in the table is because of our dependence on players like Willock, Nelson and Nketiah. Willian is a fantastic temporary upgrade and he can play in multiple positions. If teams are sitting deep we can simply play willian on the left and move Auba to the middle. Also, don’t get why Cedric is considered as a bad signing. He is a proven PL player and a good backup for… Read more »
I agree with you on Cedric, but this is small beer anyway. Willian and Coutinho will command huge wages, which far eclipses the savings on 55 ordinary employees. Yet Willian is already 31 and will have absolutely no resale value. He’s also a hard working but not spectacular player, from what I have seen at Chelsea so I don’t know how that is an improvement on Saka, Pepe or Nelson. Coutinho is a very creative player who should be in his prime, so it could be a stroke of genius or could be a very risky signing. But it makes… Read more »
Barca & Bayern don’t agree with you
Willian is an improvement on Pepe and Nelson on account of experience and trophies won. Sheer talent is never enough. Plus this is great motivator to both. Be better than Willian in training.
The reason we are so far behind in the table is because we keep shipping soft goals. This is largely down to the centre of defence and one or two individuals in particular. I won’t say who; it upsets a lot of people.
Hmm, well this doesn’t seem like a good thing but I don’t quite know what to make of it. Surely we have some kind of replacements lined up right? I mean we can’t just operate without a scouting team
Unless of course you abdicate all scouting responsibility and simply deal with agents. On the face of it, this seems like a terrible decision.
I mean it does seem like that process has already begun to an extent, I just didn’t think they’d be this explicit about it… We’ll see how this unfolds during the off season even for Raul and co. I’d be shocked if they just dismantled the scouting department and explicitly relied on agent connections.. talk about a way to ask to get fleeced by agent fees when they know there’s literally no other option.
It’s going to cost for more in commission fees than scouting costs to Kroenke
One would hope so but presumably if there is a replacement they will be a cheaper option or the exercise is pointless. Perhaps they will merge jobs. Who knows.
Kia’s clients and any Brazilian in need of a job or revival.
Martineli ( I like him a lot) Luiz, Willian, that Samba boy at Sevilla, that McGallas defender at Lille, who needs a head of international scouting anyways?
Francis Cagigao was involved in the Martinelli scouting, along with Fabregas, RVP, Alexis etc. Sending him away, along with Sven, seems short-sighted and opens the door to more shady deals in the future with big agent fees.
I agree, this seems only to focus on the short term. It seems a long term focus would value these staff members as generating a pipeline of potentially valuable players which would only grow in value after they improve at Arsenal. Even unearthing one great player through this method surely pays back all related costs for previous years and even generates more profits. Seems more like a profit center than a cost center in the long run.
If his job has been made redundant there can be no replacement for six months.
Not unless he has entered into a settlement agreement …
At first glance, this seems ridiculous to me, particularly because one of the primary characteristics I valued about Arsenal is their dedication to identifying and developing promising youth talent. Trying to make some sense of it though, there may be two reasonable causes for this. If Arsenal is having significant budget shortfalls, it makes sense that they would try to cut costs where they think it will have the least impact. Currently they find themselves with a relatively solid number of youngsters who have a lot of promise. Adding more youngsters may not be the key to taking the next… Read more »
I’d imagine friends of Raul and Edu will join in the coming days…
For the long term, this is a scary read. We’ve essentially eliminated our scouting network.
What the use of scouting when Kia is here to tell us who to buy?
How do you know he is “telling us” (as oppose to suggesting) who to buy?
Savage. How do you lose Cagigao?! Madness
By being a greedy cunt. Our board is infested with them.
Was he doing a good job?
Ok there are better no harm in freshening things up.
Wasn’t this the guy who unearthed Fabregas and Martinelli? Sometimes I wonder if the ownership/board have an internal competition to see who can make the worst decision. This also makes the Ozil situation and his ridiculous wage seem even more pressing. Too bad really.
It doesn’t look good – does it ? And as far as there is any ‘feel’ for it, it ‘feels’ worse still.
As we witness the Kia-fication of the club, I’ve seen many people say as long as Arteta is ok with it that’s all that matters (especially on recruitment). Arteta was brought in by Raul and Edu. He owes them for believing in him, and giving him his first managerial position while Gazidis didn’t. Please don’t expect him to buck the company line be it on players, recruitment or staff.
Gazidis wanted Arteta but was outspoken by Raul and co. Why do you think he left Arsenal. He was pushed out of the club just like Mislintat. Raul had to employ Arteta because he knew he was under pressure. Let’s not forget that he wanted to give a new contract to Emery in the summer.
Pushing out Gazidis was the best thing Raul’s done so far
Not enjoying the Edu era.
Between Edu and Raul, I think the club is not going in a progressive direction (apart from the management side of things). I understand the need to work with agents, but not at the expense of a scouting network. Given Arsenal’s tight pursestrings, the need for a robust scouting network is even more pressing!
I can’t find a way not to view this as another negative development in our recruitment philosophy at the club.
Many supports have defended the agent-driven model and Raul’s work on here — is this just another step in the right direction, Kaius?
I just feel that our recruitment policy is concerned about whether a prospective player has a brand name or not, rather than looking at their underlying numbers. I just wish that our approach to recruitment could be as progressive as our choice to go with Arteta.
Still no sharp-tongued retort from Kaius outlining how Raul and friends are doing the right thing?
This is the key point! We’ll never be able to complete with the billionaires who spend their money on the club. So we need to identify the talents early.
One step forward on sunday, 55 steps back today
The merry go round, continues.
seems v short sighted
Sad day when the guy who brought our best signing Martinelli is going. Then on the other hand the guy who got us overpaying for David Luiz is staying. Something is terribly wrong.
This right here. Basically describes the whole situation… sad state of affairs
Let’s hope he’s replaced! We will have to rely upon scouting to get the youngsters in as the transfer budget gets ever tighter. If Covid means we have to play to reduced capacity or, even worse, BCD at The Emirates for any meaningful part of next season then there will almost certainly be more cuts to backroom staff, and players could be released depending upon their contracts. Arsenal rely on match day receipts more than any other Premiership club (25% or so of our income) so fewer fans or no fans will hit us harder.
He’s exceptionally good at his job and is a loyal, long serving employee. Raul is a fucking snaky cunt, we could save enough money to keep all our recruitment staff if we got rid of him. The Kronkes are being done over and can’t even see through him.
A lot of people may well agree with you. I don’t see the owners being “done over” though – you don’t get to their level of wealth by having the wool pulled over your eyes quite that easily. I’m confident both Snr and Jnr know exactly what’s going on at Arsenal.
Unbelievable. I’m shaking my head.
Technical director represented by a super agent with other clients in need of a job, international scout, 2+2=3
We have to ‘out smart the market’ right? So that must mean giving up on identifying young/promising/cheap players (Mislintat/ Cagigao) and buying everyone in Kia’s stable of players. I would love to know how much Kia is going to make in agent fees from us bringing in Willian and Coutinho. I would imagine it is more than what we save by getting rid of these 55 employees.
Like someone else said…having felt so amazing winning the cup and then seeing the news today makes he have such little faith in the front office of this club.
At what point will players start to moderate their requirements? Oh no, of course they won’t. They couldn’t give a flying one about the club and it’s employees.
the same goes for the senior management. Still as long as Joorabchian fattens his wallet and palms off another has-been then it’s job done.
Takes me back to 2007, the stench of criminality was in the air..
If we could get rid of Ozil and his wages, we could have saved a whole scouting network. Outrageous.
Yes this puts it more in perspective with Ozils obscene wages. Really sad news today.
Basically, when Özil leaves next June, we can rehire all 55 and pay them an average monthly salary of 28,000 (!) pounds. Not bad.
Makes no difference, Raul’s getting rid of them so they don’t get in the way of him and his mates. If there’s no scouts there’s nobody to oppose the shit we will be buying from Kia.
Bang on, Vonnie. I doubt Ozil could have saved any of them. Getting the scouting network out is a part of a complete power grab by Raul and co.
In fact now I think Ozil was right to ask about where the pay cut he would take would go.
Call me sensationalist but I don’t like any of this at all.
You’re a sensationalist.
How the fuck would you know that that’s what he’s doing?! Stop making up random shit and treating it as fact.
You can look at the situation, the available facts and draw conclusions.
We can’t be 100% certain and we can debate the conclusions but if you’re looking to make savings in any organisation the last person you’d sack is a proven talent spotter that has consistently delivered exciting young prospects that have been sold on for a profit.
It smacks of a power grab to me too and Raul would have form in that area.
Also, how are Arsenal going to buy players and renew contracts, while keeping a straight face when they can’t afford relatively modest wages of those who have been furloughed?
I doubt this was about money. It seems this is about who the club deems is necessary at the club. Otherwise they would have trimmed down the team not eviscerated it.
Errr….. no mate, we couldn’t have. Not everything that goes wrong is Ozil’s fault. You really have to get over your obsessive hatred of him.
Don’t hate him. Wish I could get a job that pay me £350k a week to do nothing ?
Is our No. 10 on the of the “redundant” employee list? Can we just sack him to save 18M per year?
Nah that would be a really stupid thing to do.
So by getting rid of Cagigao and relying more heavily on Kia, we basically choose someone whose interest is to make deals happen at the highest price (agent fees based on transfer fees and player salaries) over someone whose interest was to get the best players for the club.
We could get a few players in the short term, but in the long term this seems like a terrible decision. One more…
I literally just read Gunnerblog’s article about Cagigao on the Athletic this morning. This is really disappointing. It sounds like he had a great outlook and his track record of names he recommended to the club speaks for itself. He even identified Messi before he went to Barcelona. I wonder if this is down to Raul’s old school methodology of signing players by agent connections. Perhaps he doesn’t see the value in a good scouting network anymore, or Arsenal are going to move completely to a data driven scouting approach (seems unlikely given that Raul fired Mistlintat as well). Having… Read more »
I just wonder if Arteta is bringing in his own people. Probably didn’t have time to do it when he joined mid season, but there will obviously be replacements coming in
Arteta is the Head Coach, he’s got nothing to do with recruitment.
People don’t get made redundant – roles do. Therefore, if those made redundant are replaced by others, Arsenal are breaking the law.
With the wealth of technology and scouting sophistication available today, everyone is going for data combined with a keen eye. Yet we regress back to the 90s/ early 2000s of relationship/hearsay/agent-buddy style. Zzzzz
This some stupid shit right here.
So he’s the latest scapegoat?!
The round of redundancies, on top of the pay cuts, the rising influence of Kia – and now the sacking of Cagigao (not to mention Sven) present the image of a club that is being poorly managed – strategically and financially.
I’m very concerned about our governance…
AND IT’S JOORABICHIAN, JOORABICHIAN FC! WE’RE BY FAR THE…can’t even be bothered to finish this off.
What a fucking shambles of a club.
I looked up the definition of ‘from the sublime to the ridiculous’ on Google.
It showed me our club crest.
Adam Crafton put out an article on the Athletic, What’s going wrong with Barcelona and Real Madrid’s recruitment?
In light of this news, gooners worldwide should be afraid. Very. Afraid.
In short, Sanllehi is not the man for the job and Arsenal cannot take the aftershock that Barcelona’s wayward recruitment has wrought upon them.
Get him out. Now.
I agree about Raul, but I also don’t understand how Edu continues to escape criticism. His relationship with Kia and the fact we seem to be the destination for wantaway Brazilian players in need of game time for their national team is of a huge concern. It doesn’t strike me as a recruitment policy based on making Arsenal a stronger team.
Because Edu is just a puppet. What does he even do at the club? He was brought only because of Kia connection. Raul is the one pulling strings.
You don’t think there’s any chance he was brought in because of his Arsenal connections?
I’m very disappointed in Edu, he seems to be Rauls lap dog so far.
As an ex player – and a popular one at that – he is clearly being used as the ‘public face’, the connection with the fans – a smokescreen. The whole thing stinks.
Top post. Brilliant. Have just read Clayton’s article and my blood ran cold. I’m convinced that there is far more to this than meets the eye. Paradoxically, as fans, we can only hope that if there is anything ‘untoward’ going on, then certain individuals actions can and will be made public, brought to justice and removed from the club. If it’s good enough for dear old George Graham, it’s good enough for anyone else – and certainly certain individuals whom for legal reasons and out of respect for this wonderful blog, I will not name.
I started supporting this great club because of its class. We did things differently back then, stood out in the game as being the one club you could rely on to people our people well. Now the employees are just disposable commodities to be messed around with, the fans are taken for granted and the club seemingly can’t make up it’s mind what it wants to do. Other than line the pockets of the mates of those who run the club that is. I’ve never been so ashamed of the club and it’s figureheads. This is due only to the… Read more »
I feel exactly the same. Kroenke has hijacked Arsenal and destroying everything we stand for.
Top post, Gus. We haven’t always seen eye to eye, but credit where it’s due, matey. You’ve hit the nail well and truly on the head here, and summed up how an awful lot of us are feeling. And coming so soon after the euphoria of an FA Cup Final victory. Thank goodness for Andrew and this brilliant blog and James and the Arsecast Extra. Otherwise, the fan experience of the club we all love would, thanks to Kroenke and Co.,have been totally removed from something we all instantly recognise. I wish Nick Hornby would hurry up and write another… Read more »
At the moment a lot of fans are swallowing anything that comes from Raul’s office only because we have Arteta and his strong vision for the club.
But, mark my words, there will come times when Arteta’s uncompromising nature will clash with Sanllehi’s agenda, and then our head coach will be the one to leave.
Why do AFC needs a scouting network whilst the club has Raul’s old phone book and Kia on speed dial?
I was excited after the FA cup win.Scary how it is unravelling now.
Unfortunately, it was built on tight financial foundations pre-Covid – we never did have a great deal of spare money with most profits coming from player sales and/or property sales. Covid is the very nasty icing on the cake. Winning the FA Cup was fantastic, no argument, but in financial terms winning it (and then playing in the Europa League next season) doesn’t really bring in much money. The CL is where the real dosh is and we’re quite a long way from that currently.
Don’t see how letting go of the scouting staff would help the situation in the longer term though. It’s penny wise pound foolish as a cost cutting measure, which I highly doubt it is.
At the risk of being pedantic and avoiding the obvious clusterfuck this club is becoming, he hasn’t been sacked, he’s been made redundant. And if he is employed under English law and paid through PAYE, he’s in for a windfall having worked for the club for such a long time.
That all depends on what redundancy provision he has within his contract. If it’s just statutory it will be capped at £16K plus notice period.
Yeah but if it had been put like that, do you really think there would have been anywhere near as much interest in this article??? Come on mate! You and your accuracy!
1. Arsenal never ceases to disappoint as a club. Just when Gooners all over the world were beginning to develop a positive outlook.
2. How the f*** is scouting redundant? Who’s going to identify young talents or analyse and judge potential signings and see if they fit? Gunnersaurus?
3. The decision to let people go is definitely on the Kroenkes. But the decision to dismantle our scouting network is on Vinai and Raul, and that is scary. The power is now vested in a handful of people, all of whom seem to be incompetent and greedy.
Gunnersaurus is probably next to go.
“If Willian and Countinho sign, the most high profile recent deals for us would be: Willian – agent Kia Coutinho – agent Kia Soares – agent Kia Luiz 1 year renewal – agent Kia Pablo Mari – agent Arturo Canales, mate of Raul who repped Emery into the Arsenal job.”
And you complain about AFTV and such channels? Absolute clown. Also EVERY SINGLE deals was done under Arteta… ??? Ignored EVERY SINGLE deal done in summer aswell. This will work on sheeply below but you are clown, neurotic psychopath.
Who are you shouting at??
It doesn’t bother you that we lean so heavily on one agent for our recruitment, and that we’ve axed some key figures in our scouting department along the way? Do we really need Raul, or is he redundant when Edu secures us the Brazilians we need and Kia’s stable provides the rest? It’s a shame layoffs never happen higher up the ladder. Arteta has been at Arsenal for 8 months, and coached under 30 games. Do you think he has Wenger-like power when it comes to player recruitment? We moved away from that when the old man left, and went… Read more »
Redundancy not ‘the sack’ very different.
I don’t often comment on here, but this is one such occasion. Cagigao is an Arsenal man, been with us for a long time, but more importantly he has scouted and discovered some *serious* talent. Martinelli could potentially be his best find, but Bellerin and Fabregas have been massive for us. At the end of the day, we’re supposed to be “outsmarting the market” – how is letting our most consistent and respected talent spotter leave going to achieve that? Keeping him in his role will save us much more money than his salary in the long term because he’ll… Read more »
Going against the grain a bit here, but do we really needs a ton of scouts. We don’t tend to buy a lot of unproven players. We buy players who’s records and profile are already well known. And I.m sure we will be retaining some scouts to look for the hidden gems in less well known regions.
Maybe Mikel wants to be more hands on with the identification of players he wants. If I was manager I certainly would be looking for my own players.
Although I do have a soft spot for Cagigao for getting us Cesc
Also, it should be mentioned that pretty much everyone has been saying how dreadful our recruitment has mostly been over the last 5+ years. Perhaps it is just time for a clear out of the scouting dept. before bringing some fresh faces in?
Maybe, and maybe — but do you really believe that, with what you know at this stage? I do hope Raul knows what he’s doing and can give Arteta everything he needs to win trophies and secure years and years of world class football. Perhaps this is the “outsmarting the market” he referred to last year — rather than rely on discovering talent and signing players just as they are entering their prime (ref., LFC), we’ll just buy established players with little transfer fee to pay (and no re-sale value) and combine that with our academy (resale value in abundance).… Read more »
It’s a horrible scenario but I think you may be right.
I’m not clicking a Daily Fail link but this sounds like bad news for outsmarting the market.
This is bs, he has been responsible for many of our “jewels” in the past, and even recent ones (Hi Martinelli). I’d rather us kicking Raul than him. Can’t understand this decision
Think it helps to watch this club as a soap opera rather than anything real. It’s all almost completely divorced from recognisable human concerns, but still makes you feel extreme things (which need to be managed somehow). I suppose I should feel bad for Cagigao, but imagine being a guy who earns healthy amounts of money for decades to watch football. I’m not going to waste any time mourning the death of scouting, or the idea of Arsenal or whatever, that battle was lost when Ashley Cole signed for Chelsea. I feel bad for the matchday staff, though. Whether or… Read more »
Hey everyone, I’m new to the comment section. I remember in the movie Moneyball, the senior scouts were sidelined at times to make room for more analytics driven player recruitment. Could this be the early steps of Arsenal adopting that model. Seems like we’ve been dependant on the traditional scouting model all these years though it has found us exceptional talent.
We had statDna, a company that was pretty much moneyball. We seem to have moved away from that as well as scouting, to basically become agent dependant.
Wow! If that’s the case this is really bad. Don’t know who are sanctioning these type of moves but those people need to be removed from making any type of critical decisions.
FFS, another step closer to being Kia’s team.
What’s the point of having scouts when you only buy Kia Joorabchian players anyway?
We’ll be renamed KFC before you know it……
Why not fire Arteta while we’re at it? For fucks sake arsenal!!!!!!!! WTf?
I remember that FA Youth Cup Final In 1988. It was after the First XI’s deflating League (Littlewoods) Cup Final defeat to Luton Town. Francis Cagigao was a very promising player in that youth team, that also included Alan Miller, David Hillier and spearheaded by a very young Kevin Campbell, who was already built like a comic-strip Superhero and looked, especially that night, as though making the first team and bulldozing five goals each game was something of a mere formality; at least he achieved one out of two. But, anyway, sorry to hear this awful news regarding Franny Cagigao.… Read more »
These guys have been loyal to Arsenal FC over the years and this is how they are rewarded.
The people in charge are mismanaging our club, Hill Wood would be spinning in his grave.
Where is the loyalty and integrity that this great club was always associated with.
Staff and fans deserve better.
More consolidation or are they bringing in someone better?
Wait and see.
But as I’ve said before, we have done ourselves no favour entrusting the transfer/recruitment side of thing to an inexperienced Edu and Sanlehi.
We should be getting Luis Campos or Overmars IMO, particularly with Arteta also learning the ropes.
Recent links to Willian, slightly less so maybe Coutinho not entirely inspiring.