Darren Burgess, former Head of Fitness at Liverpool, has been appointed as Arsenal’s Performance Director and will provide a variety of tasks alongside Arsene Wenger.
According to the Telegraph, Burgess has a long list of tasks at Arsenal, aiding in medical, fitness, psychology and performance analysis, while working with the academy. He may be the closest Arsenal have to appointing a Director of Football but a watered-down version instead.
Burgess’ experience in fitness may help Arsenal get to the bottom of their British players’ issues with muscle injuries, as well as Santi Cazorla’s ongoing problems. The 43-year-old, currently working with Australian rules club Port Adelaide as High Performance manager, may have to combine both jobs at both clubs until his contract expires at the end of their season.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis made it clear this summer that the club would welcome a change up to their backroom staff, and Burgess certainly comes with experience. He worked at Liverpool between 2010 and 2012 under managers Kenny Dalglish, Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers.
His latest role will see him working close with Arsene Wenger. Burgess is expected to have a big say in the scouting policy, as well as the psychology of the players – potentially highlighting how much fragility there is within the squad.