It’s very rare to see a club where the manager has total control over transfers and the long term recruitment strategy, so there are some different ways of doing things.
Ideally what you need is a long term vision and a team to keep the club moving towards that – it allows consistency in the overall approach even if the manager ends up leaving.
Man United are a prime example of a team who had no strategy and their approach was a disaster. They appointed three very different managers and allowed them all to bring in their own preferred players, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still trying to clear up that mess.
If a club recruits well then it allows them to punch above their weight, and it would be the key to Arsenal establishing themselves as genuine title challengers again.
A recent report from The Daily Mail suggests they are looking to switch to an “agent led” approach to recruitment, and the fans should be very scared.
Agents make money by moving players, so they will simply look to take players to Arsenal who will net them a giant commission – they won’t care about finding the right players for the club who will help them develop.
This approach also completely limits the pool of players that you can target, so Arsenal are effectively closing themselves off to a large part of the market and putting their trust in people who aren’t involved in the long term running of the club.
Doncaster Rovers obviously play at a lower level but there’s a parallel here with their experiment a few years ago when they allowed Willie McKay to bring his own players into the club – that ended in relegation.
The BBC reported on this at the time and he essentially took over the recruitment at the club and guided some washed up veterans to a previously successful team who didn’t look out of place in the Championship – they are still trying to rebuild after plummeting to League Two after this.
Arsenal looked in a great position to kick on next season with Mikel Arteta identifying the players he wanted to add to the squad, but that’s no longer the case.
Those who run the club might think it’s a great business model and maybe the shareholders will benefit – but the team and the fans probably won’t.