Recently there has been lots of talk from Ivan Gazidis about change coming at Arsenal, with one of the changes suggested, Dick Law being replaced by a big name Director of Football. There have been many names linked with the job so I go through 10 in no order who could help Arsenal should they join.
- Ralf Rangnick – Red Bull Leipzig
The man once labelled “the German Wenger” for his work at Hoffenheim, successfully coaching some relatively unknown youngsters, masterfully picked from all over to a respectable 8th. Now he is the man behind all the scouting and recruitment at the Red Bull owned clubs. Notably this season his well-put together team RasenBallsport Leipzig coached by Ralph Hasenhüttl have caught the eye placing 2nd in the German Bundesliga. Players such as Naby Keita, Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg, once relatively unknowns are now well known across all Europe and commanding big fees.
- Herman Van Holsbeeck – Anderlecht
A former player with lesser-known teams who has been with Anderlecht since 2003 in his current role. In his time there, they have won the league 6 times including the past 3 seasons. The current Anderlecht team is getting some great reviews, full of young talented players like Youri Tielemans, Leander Dendoncker and Nicolae Stanciu.
- Alexander Rosen – TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
29-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann, might be getting all the headlines at Hoffenheim for his revolutionary coaching and rightfully so but Rosen deserves credit too. Alexander Rosen raised a few eyebrows when he suggested Nagelsmann as manager but it has proved an inspired decision as they have achieved their highest place this season. Headline grabbing players include Niklas Sule, Andrej Kramaric,Nadiem Amiri and Karem Demirbay.
- Michael Zorc – Dortmund
Another former player although also a bit of a club legend for Dortmund, after appearing for them nearly 500 times, he is fiercely loyal to them, having been with them since 1978 in one way or another. Having been sporting director since 1998 Zorc has been responsible for some of the finest teams produced by Dortmund in the past 20 years including today’s team that has such players as: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus, Julian Weigle and Raphaell Guerreiro.
- Marc Overmars – Ajax
A former legend at both Ajax and Arsenal, starring for both teams in some of their most successful periods of history. Only recently finding his feet at the Director of football role having found it hard when he started in 2012, wasting money on bigger but less talented name players. This season has been the big success story for all concerned at Ajax as a team built on young stars and good purchases have impressed in European competition. Everyone is talking about such talents as: Kasper Dolberg, Hakim Ziyech, Davy Klaassen and Davinson Sanchez.
6 Luís Campos – Lille
One of two French based and Monaco linked people on the list, Campos recently moved to Lille after their big money takeover. A man highly rated in France for his work as Monaco technical director and scouting for Real Madrid. It remains to be seen if he can get on with new Lille manager Marcelo Bielsa, who is notoriously unpredictable.
7 Antonio Cordón – Monaco
The man behind one of the most spoken about teams in Europe, Monaco after they set the Champions League alight thanks to fast attacking football with a young energetic squad. Cordon has not been at Monaco long as he replaced the aforementioned Campos after 17 years creating a fine reputation at Villareal. Star buys are Jorge, Kamil Glik, Benjamin Mendy and Djibril Sidibe. I think you have probably already heard of Kylian Mbappé.
8 Max Eberl – Gladbach
A man Arsenal will be familiar with after the transfer of Granit Xhaka this season and many other player enquires at Gladbach. Another former player on the list after playing notably for Bayern Munich and Gladbach he also tried his hand at coaching until he settled on his current job as director of sport in 2008. Players he’s seen play for BMG are Marco Reus, Granit Xhaka, Mahmoud Dahoud and Yann Sommer.
9 Cristiano Giuntoli – Napoli
The man in charge of keeping both Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis and head coach Maurizio Sarri happy and not fighting. No small task but with the clever signings of Gonzalo Higuian and Dries Mertens I’m sure that helps. 2 years at Napoli and still going strong after moving from Carpi.
10 Antero Henrique
A free agent now but the benefits of his work at FC Porto will be felt for years to come, he joined in 2005 and was one of those responsible for players like Hulk, James Rodriguez, Alex Sandro and Falcao coming and going from the club.
I got into football as a kid watching Italian football in the afternoons and ever since I’ve been hooked on tactics and the continental side of the game. I’ve written about Italian football in the past among other things but now it’s time to write about, the embodiment of how I see the beautiful game, Arsenal. Hopefully writing things and opinions about the game you haven’t seen before, I like a bit of a joke too.