Arsenal will let Francis Cagigao and others leave as part of their restructuring process that they are dressing up as post-Covid cuts.

Francis Cagigao
Francis Cagigao

Arsenal released a statement on Wednesday afternoon announcing they would enter into the consultation period for 55 redundancies at the club.

In a lengthy letter signed by both Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi and Managing Director, Vinai Venkatesham, they set it up beautifully, laying out all the challenges the club has faced since Covid-19 entered our vocabulary as well as setting out all the problems they will surely face in the future.

Towards the end they got to their point – 55 people would be leaving the club. It was both sad to hear but understandable. Arsenal will not be the first to have to cut costs, we all said to ourselves, some clubs will certainly go under.

“These proposed changes,” Arsenal said, “are ultimately about ensuring we take this great football club forward, creating the right organisation for a post-Covid world, and ensuring we have the resources to return to competing effectively at the top of the game here and in Europe.”

If, like me, you thought it would be office staff and people in admin positions facing the chop, think again.

Learning that it will be the Head of Recruitment, who was only promoted to that position in May last year, along with other senior members of the scouting department, at a time when super agents like Kia Joorabchian are digging themselves into the club more, gives the whole thing a distinctly unsavoury flavour.

According to the Daily Mail, Peter Clark and Brian McDermott will also leave.

Joorbachin is already good friends with Raul Sanllehi, Edu and Cedric Soares’ agent and David Luiz’s intermediary.

He also represents Philippe Coutinho, Willian and works closely with Diego Carlos, another being linked with a move to Arsenal this summer.

What has Francis Cagigao done at Arsenal?

Francis Cagigao

Cagigao spent four years with Arsenal as a player during the 1980s, winning the FA Youth Cup, before a move to Barcelona B. His playing career never really amounted to much, but as a scout he has been credited with bringing Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, Hector Bellerin and, perhaps most importantly, Cesc Fabregas to the club.

He has also recently brought the club’s attentions to Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba.

Currently employed as the club’s Head of International Recruitment, Cagigao was reportedly targeted by a number of top clubs in Spain, Germany, and South America in 2018, with a director of football role being mentioned in Spain.

Cagigao was born in London, the son of Galician parents and is reportedly under contract with Arsenal until 2020. He joined the club as a scout before becoming a key member of Arsene Wenger’s support team, credited with bringing a number of other youngsters to the club.

Others he identified include Lauren, Jose Antonio Reyes, Nacho Monreal, Emi Martinez, Granit Xhaka, Carlos Vela, and Robin van Persie.