Mikel Arteta ‘excited’ by Arsenal’s appointment of Richard Garlick

Mikel Arteta is “really excited” by Arsenal’s appointment of Richard Garlick as the club’s head of football operations – hailing him the best person for the job.

While Garlick, currently working as the Premier League’s director of football, does not yet have a start date for his new role, he will begin work at the Emirates Stadium before the end of the year.

Having previously worked at West Brom, Garlick will now join Arsenal’s executive team following the departures of Raul Sanllehi and Huss Fahmy in 2020.

A statement confirming his arrival was released on Thursday, with the club confirming his new role will “include football operations in the first team and academy, all player contract management and relationships with football’s governing bodies”.

Garlick (left) previously worked at West Brom
Garlick (left) previously worked at West Brom

Asked about Garlick’s impending arrival after watching his side draw 0-0 with Crystal Palace, Arteta was full of admiration for the newcomer.

“We lost Huss at the start of the season,” he said.

“He had a really important role because it is a very important link between myself, Edu the technical director, the board, Vinai (Venkatesham, chief executive).

“We needed a person with a lot of experience, who knows the job really well, has all the connections in English and international football.

“As well, someone that can bring some ideas and some qualities that we believe are required to (run) the business the way we want.

“I am really excited. I met him. He is certainly the candidate we wanted and now we have to respect the process. He is at the Premier League at the moment and we will see when we can get him.”

Arteta revealed the process of searching for someone to come in and fill the void left by Sanllehi and Fahmy, in particular, was a long one – but believes they have found the right man for the job.

“It’s not about the pressure, it’s contribution; it’s to bring people in to our team that are better than us in certain things,” he replied, when asked if Garlick’s appointment eases pressure on himself.

“That’s going to make us better. We had to replace Huss, and Huss had a really important role not only with the first team but with the academy, and a lot of administration work he’s been doing with other entities across Europe.

“We needed to replace him, there was no question about that. We were looking for months and we all decided that the best person to do that was Richard.”