Arsenal have hired Marcel Lucassen as the club’s new Director of Football Development, with the 55-year-old starting the job on 1st August.

Lucassen will take up responsibility for development of coaches and players from the u9s to the u23s, according to reports. He’s worked for the German Football Association for seven years and as Assistant Manager at TSG Hoffenheim in the past, but spent the last few years as Head of Al Nasr Education in Dubai.

The Dutchman has outlined his plan for Arsenal, explaining that he’ll draw on all his previous experience to achieve results with the club.

“What I’m going to do at Arsenal is to further develop the football philosophy, as I did earlier with Al Nasr and the German Football Association,” he said. “It was time to start working closer to home so that I could see my family in Blitterswijck more often.”

It’s great to see Arsenal continuing to invest in improving the academy. Under Arsene Wenger, development of young players was one of the most important things at the club. Now that’s started to become ingrained in the culture at Arsenal, and it seems it’s not going to stop just because Unai Emery is head coach instead.

Last season was particularly exciting for the academy, with a lot of success at youth level. The u23s won the Premier League 2, and made it to the Premier League International Cup final. The u18s finished as runners-up in the u18 Premier League and the FA Youth Cup to Chelsea, who continue to dominate at that level.

Plus, of course, there were all the players who made the jump from the academy to the first team. Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, to name but a few.

Hopefully Lucassen can help ensure the continued success of the youth sides.