Mikel Arteta has confirmed rumours that Richard Garlick will join the club as a replacement for Huss Fahmy.
Fahmy left his position as director of football operations in the autumn and the Gunners have been on the hunt for a suitable replacement ever since.
In Garlick, we’ve found someone with considerable experience. The 43-year-old has spent the last two and a half years as the Premier League’s director of football having previously spent eight years in administrative positions at West Bromwich Albion.
Garlick isn’t expected to complete his move to the Emirates for a while longer – we imagine he either has a lengthy notice period or has been placed on gardening leave – but the boss is excited to have filled a vitally important position at the club.
Speaking after last night’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace, Arteta noted: “We lost Huss at the start of the season and he had a really important role because he was a very important link between myself, Edu, Vinai and the board.
“We need a person with a lot of experience, who knows the job really well and has connections in English and international football. As well, someone who can bring some ideas and some qualities that we believe are required in the business, the way we want.
“I’m really excited. I met him [Garlick], he’s certainly the candidate we wanted. I don’t know [when he starts], we have to respect the process, he’s at the Premier League at the moment and we’ll see when we can get him.”
Arsenal made a big song and dance about the decision to streamline the club’s hierarchy back in the summer. In the aftermath of Raul Sanllehi’s exit, Arteta was promoted from head coach to manager with a remit on a par with technical director Edu.
When Arsenal’s form subsequently fell off a cliff, there were some suggestions that Arteta may have taken on too much, but he insists Garlick’s arrival isn’t about relieving pressure on him personally.
“It’s not about the pressure, it’s about bringing people into our team that are better than us at doing certain things. That’s going to make us better.
“We had to replace Huss, who had a really important role with the first team and the Academy and with a lot of administration work which is needed with other entities around Europe. We needed to replace him, there’s no question about that.
“We’ve been looking for months and we all decided that the best person to do that was Richard.”