Raul Sanllehi, Michael Zorc and Marc Overmars have all been linked with Arsenal, but who would be the best choice?
For months now, we’ve been hearing about Arsenal appointing a new Director of Football operations. The title of the role changes from report to report, but the responsibilities remain the same: to assist Arsene Wenger with transfer business.
Three names have been linked with the role: Barcelona’s Raul Sanllehi, Borussia Dortmund’s Michael Zorc and Ajax’s Marc Overmars. The interesting thing about these names is that they operate at three different levels.
Sanllehi has been at Barcelona since 2007, and has been key in their commercial growth and getting big transfer deals over the line.
As far as top level experience goes, there are few better candidates. Sanllehi has worked for some of the biggest organisations around and has ties with FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
With Arsenal’s commercial deals lagging some way behind their rivals, Sanllehi could be a key appointment. Michael Zorc, on the other hand, is better known for his transfer dealings.
A former Dortmund player, Zorc headed a transfer team that included Arsenal’s new Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat and secured deals for several of the players who brought success to the club.
Zorc was able to sign the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for cheap prices. He’s also managed to sell on several players for several times their worth.
If transfers were Arsenal’s sole concern, he’d be the exact sort of specialist they’d need.
Marc Overmars has the bonus of being an ex-Arsenal player, but his time at Ajax has been mixed. Signing players for the Dutch club on a small budget is a very different job to signing big players for Arsenal for huge fees.
Overmars is also much less experienced than Sanllehi and Zorc, and may not have formed a lot of good contacts like they have.
Given a choice between the three, there’s no reason why Arsenal should opt for Overmars besides sentimentality.
Picking a candidate between Sanllehi and Zorc would be difficult. They both have the experience, the expertise and the contacts to take Arsenal forward.