Arsenal have lost another key member of their backroom staff, with head of coach and player development Marcel Lucassen set to leave the club.
The Gunners have made a number of significant changes behind the scenes in recent months, first giving several long-serving scouts their marching orders over the summer.
Head of recruitment Francis Cagigao was one of them, departing the Emirates along with other members of the scouting department - including senior scouts Brian McDermott and Peter Clark.
And last month it was reported that contract negotiator Huss Fahmy will also be leaving before the end of the year.
According to The Athletic, Lucassen is the latest member of Arsenal’s backroom staff to be heading for the exit.
The Dutchman has worked as head of coach and player development since June 2018, with academy manager Per Mertesacker playing a crucial role in his arrival after working alongside him with Germany’s national team.
It is believed Lucassen has decided to leave the Emirates himself due to personal family reasons.
His responsibilities will be taken on by Luke Hobbs as Head of Academy Coaching, covering recruitment and development.
Hobbs took charge of Football Operations at Arsenal’s Hale End academy base in July 2013, while also enjoying a spell as interim Academy Manager in 2017.
Lucassen’s personal decision does not fit into Arsenal’s restructuring plans, although the flurry of recent departures do indicate that manager Mikel Arteta, Mertesacker and technical director Edu’s authority is growing in north London.
Arteta and Edu got their hands on a number of key additions in the summer transfer window, forking out almost £80million on new signings.
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The north London club sealed a £45million deal for highly-rated midfielder Thomas Partey on deadline day, while also signing Gabriel Magalhaes (£24million), Willian (free) and Runar Alex Runarsson (£2million) earlier in the window.
Pablo Mari completed a permanent £7million switch after spending the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates, as did Cedric Soares free of charge.