By now, you’ve probably already heard that Arsenal have appointed former Barcelona director of football Raul Sanllehi as head of football relations, but who is he and what does he do?
Sanllehi recently left Barcelona after being with the La Liga giants for 15 years in search of a fresh start. The former director of football is described as one of the best in the business after his work in Spain and there’s a real reason fans who know about his exploits are excited.
In 2003, Sanllehi was hired by Barca. He started out as a Nike executive helping to promote Barcelona’s pre-season tours and strengthen their relationship with the brand. This is where his negotiation skills were picked up and he quickly progressed to helping seal transfers.
Barcelona’s new director of football went on to become incredibly successful, helping the Catalans to sign Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Marc Andre ter Stegen to Spain ahead of the club’s Treble-winning season.
He also prevented Neymar from signing for Real Madrid and instead got him to sign for their rivals in 2013.
With Arsenal’s other new appointment, Sven Mislintat from Borussia Dortmund, helping to find players, Sanllehi is the man to convince them to sign. He’s apparently charming as well as professional, which helps when it comes to trying to convince people to do what you want.
Overall, considering Arsenal’s lack of potency in the transfer market over recent years, he should be a massive help.