Report claims three Arsenal transfers led to Sanllehi exit

Joe Williams
Raul Sanllehi Edu Arsenal

Three transfers during Raul Sanllehi’s time at Arsenal have been questioned as failing to provide value for money and they reportedly contributed to his exit from the club.

Raul Sanllehi left his role as head of football on Saturday in a move which will see manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu lead the Gunners’ transfer strategy.

His departure is understood to be part of the club wanting to streamline their off-field structure and Arteta and Edu have already clinched Arsenal’s first signing of the summer in the shape of Willian on a free from Chelsea.

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However, The Athletic have broken down the real reasons for Sanllehi’s departure which has been ‘brewing for some time’ at the club.

The report ‘has been told the club see this [Sanllehi’s exit] as a way of streamlining their executive model in the light of COVID-19’ after already announcing 55 redundancies.

There was also thought to be ‘unease at Sanllehi’s political positioning’ with his ‘style of management’ not always going down well with the Arsenal hierarchy.

In terms of recruitment, there was a feeling within the club that the former Barcelona man used his ‘trusted network of intermediaries’ too much with the scouting and analytics department left ‘sidelined’.

And a number of transfers that were overseen by Sanllehi have come under scrutiny with The Athletic claiming that ‘Arsenal exceeded the asking price for Bernd Leno and paid €5 million above the buyout clause for Lucas Torreira.’

There’s also been questions about whether Sanllehi got value for money on a deal for Nicolas Pepe last summer when he had been available for half the £72m fee only 12 months before.