Raul Sanllehi has revealed that he left Barcelona because the two parties felt that, after 15 years at the club, his time there had naturally come to an end.

Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal's Head of Football
Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s Head of Football

This week, Arsenal officially announced the appointment of former Barca director of football, Raul Sanllehi. Although the man credited with helping the Catalans sign Neymar and Luis Suarez doesn’t have that official title with the Gunners at the moment, this might change in time.

As it stands, he’s the head of football relations and it seems he’s been keen for a fresh start for a while.

“Life goes in cycles and mine at Barcelona came to an end with the new structure of the club behind the scenes,” Sanllehi told ESPN FC in October.

“We analysed it objectively at the club and the conclusion was that my profile didn’t fit in, which is perfectly respectable. And I say that without any acrimony — the opposite, in fact. I say it with a lot of affection for the club. I have been, I am and I always will be a Barca fan and when they play I will still say ‘we’. Always.”

raul san
Raul Sanllehi has joined Arsenal as Head of Football Relations.

Sanllehi’s reputation precedes him and it’s incredibly exciting to have such an accomplished name in the industry come to Arsenal. For years, it’s been clear that transfer negotiations aren’t Arsene Wenger’s forte. Therefore, having someone else there to do the dirty work, so to speak, will force him to loosen his crib on the club and enjoy, what I believe, could be his last year or two managing the Gunners.

Sanllehi will join Arsenal in February 2018.

As well as the former Barca man, Arsenal have appointed Sven Mislintat from Borussia Dortmund. The new head of recruitment explained recently that the reason he decided to leave the Bundesliga side was because former manager, Thomas Tuchel, didn’t treat him particularly well.

New beginnings all round then?