Journalist Charles Watts has claimed that Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker will be set for a busy summer after Kevin Betsy and Dan Micciche both left the club.
Earlier this week, Crawley Town announced they would be hiring both men, with Betsy becoming the new first-team manager having signed an initial two-year contract, while Micciche will be joining as his assistant.
Betsy was the Arsenal U23 head coach, while Micciche was in charge of the U18 side with the Gunners, so their exits will leave a big gap to fill at youth level.
Speaking about this on Twitter, Watts said: “Blow for Arsenal to lose Betsy and Dan Micciche at the same time. Per Mertesacker’s summer just got busier.”
Do Arsenal have one of England's best academies?
TIF Thoughts on the Arsenal academy…
In a statement released on the club website, Mertesacker said: “We’re grateful for the work Kevin and Dan have done to manage and develop our under-23s and under-18s.
“Both have shown outstanding coaching ability so it’s no surprise they’re heading into first-team management in the EFL.
“This is a great opportunity for them, and on behalf of everyone at Arsenal, I’d like to thank them for their service and wish them the very best of luck in the future.”
As stated by Watts, however, the academy manager will now have to find someone to replace Betsy and Micciche ahead of next summer. This will be a hugely important task for the club.
Indeed, the likes of Tony Adams and Cesc Fabregas have come through at youth level for the Gunners, while current stars Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe were also part of the Hale End academy in recent times (via football.london).
With all that in mind, it’s no wonder Watts said the news will come as a ‘blow’ for the Premier League outfit.