Used to competing for titles in the late 90s and early 2000s under Arsène Wenger, Arsenal fans saw a change in their club’s ambitions towards the end of the Frenchman’s tenure.
Trophies were replaced by top four ambitions, and seeing Leicester City pip them to the title during the 2015-16 season was the beginning of the end for the long-serving legend’s time in north London.
He eventually left at the end of the 2017-18 season to be replaced by Unai Emery, which led to a new structure being implemented at the club, including the idea of a director of football.
A search then began, during which many names were thrown around, including that of Monchi, whose time at Roma was coming to an abrupt end.
Eventually, the Spaniard returned to his former home, Sevilla, where he was reinstated as head of pretty much everything behind the scenes, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the utmost respect for Arsenal and what they have done over the years.
Speaking in an interview with El Confidencial, the director of football gave his views on Wenger’s final years at Arsenal, which some apparently describe as his best considering the limited budgets he had at his disposal.
He said: “Of course, football’s problem is that everything is based on results, but there are projects that consolidate their future in the present with good selling policies, talent retention, academies… and sometimes only get the attention when they get results, but aren’t valued during the moment.
“The example of Arsenal is a very good one. They’re a pioneer club that invested in data, bought their own ‘app’ five or six years ago and are developing it”.