According to the Guardian, Arsenal are set to cull scouts covering France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy
as part of in addition to the 55 redundancies the club announced yesterday.
We had already learnt that Francis Cagigao, our head of international scouting and Peter Clark and Brian McDermott, who covered the UK were set for the chop.
Today, it’s been revealed that Ty Gooden (France and Belgium), Leonardo Scirpoli (Germany), Julio de Marco (Spain) and Alex Stafford (Scotland) are also set to leave. The club’s Italian operation has also been cut.
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.
The report claims the plans have been in the pipeline for a while and that there is no suggestion that any of the above will be replaced.
So what does it mean? At a time when other clubs are expanding their global scouting networks, ours is retracting. Perhaps we’re pre-empting a post-Brexit world where getting unknown continental talents to the UK is likely to be harder? Or maybe, and the evidence seems to indicate this at the moment, we’re just going to increasingly lean on our *cough* contacts to get deals done.
If that is the case, it does seem somewhat short-sighted. While many will point to our ‘poor’ recent track record of getting foreign teenage recruits (vs Academy graduates) into the first team and shrug their shoulders, it should be pointed out that even those who don’t ‘make it’ at Arsenal still generate millions of pounds in revenue.
Serge Gnabry, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ismael Bennacer, Donyell Malen and Krystian Bielik are just a few examples of guys who have moved on in recent years. Four of them are playing Champions League football and three are established internationals. In retrospect, should we have made more from their sales? Probably. Is that the fault of the scouting team? Erm, no.
Anyway, it’s always a sad turn of events when people lose their jobs. We wish them well for the future and hope they find a way back into the game quickly.