Arsenal have reportedly appointed Reading’s academy manager, Lee Herron.
According to an exclusive report from Football.London, Lee Herron is set to step in and take up a ‘football operations’ role within the management structure of Arsenal’s academy.
Luke Hobbs has been in charge since Andries Jonker took over as Wolfsburg manager in February 2017. When Hobbs steps down at the end of the season, Per Mertesacker becomes head of Arsenal’s academy. Therefore, it’s understood that Herron will work underneath him.
According to the report, Herron’s future jobs includes sorting out schedules for the Gunners’ youth teams and organising worldwide tournaments. The coach’s role also means he’ll monitor their footballing calendars to ensure players are available for first team selection. There’s no point developing talented youth players if they don’t get a chance to impress for Arsene Wenger.
Reading manager, Jaap Stam, admitted ahead of the Royals’ match on Saturday, that it’ll be difficult to find someone with Lee Herron’s quality to replace him should he go to north London.
“I’ve heard, and I’ve read as well, certain things about him might be joining Arsenal,” Stam said.
“He’s been working here for a while, he’s a man who knows what to do with the academy, how to run the academy, how to work with the youngsters.
“It’s always difficult if somebody with those abilities leaves.”
Who is Lee Herron?
Highly-rated Herron helped develop the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Shane Long and Michael Hector during his time working with the Royals’.
Herron, who’s Reading born and bred, joined the club in 2001 as part of their ‘Football in the Community’ project.
In 2016, Reading appointed Lee Herron as head of their academy after Eamonn Dolan’s tragic death following a battle with cancer.
If Herron does come on board at Arsenal, the coach will be the latest addition to Arsenal’s backroom staff. The club is currently undergoing a massive reshuffle behind the scenes. Thus far, we’ve brought in Borussia Dortmund’s former chief scout Sven Mislintat and Barcelona’s ex-director of football Raul Sanllehi.
Appointing Lee Herron would be a fantastic way of ensuring that Arsenal’s youth talent has the best chance of developing. He could also help to guide Mertesacker, since this is the German’s first role of this kind.
The centre-back steps down from his playing career at the of the season.