Lee Herron is leaving Reading to join Arsenal, according to sports journalist Simon Austin, formerly of the BBC.
Austin wrote on the Training Ground Guru website that Herron will become the tenth major Arsenal appointment since June 2017. He’ll be working with the academy as Football Operations Manager, as we reported previously.
Huge overhaul at @Arsenal since June. New:
⚽️ Head of Elite Performance
⚽️ Head of Recruitment
⚽️ Contract negotiator
⚽️ 1st team coach
⚽️ Academy boss
⚽️ Football Ops Manager
⚽️ Goalkeeping Coach
⚽️ Lead Sports Scientist
— Simon Austin (@sport_simon) January 4, 2018
Per previous reports, Herron’s job includes sorting out schedules for the Gunners’ youth teams and organising worldwide tournaments. The role will also involve monitoring their footballing calendars to ensure players are available for first team selection. The Reading manager admitted in December that their academy boss could be on the way out.
Herron will work alongside Per Mertesacker, when the German retires at the end of the season. Arsenal announced back in July that Mertesacker will be in charge of the Gunners’ academy.
However, since the 33-year-old doesn’t have any experience of the logistical side of the role, it makes sense to bring in someone else to support him. That way the current club captain can focus on football and personal development.
The former Royals academy boss has spent over 16 years behind the scenes at Reading, so he should be perfect to provide experience of that side of the job. Hopefully the pair can develop a good working relationship next year.