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Arsenal make key backroom change ahead of January window with ‘raid for transfer guru’

Arsenal are set to make a significant change to their transfers department ahead of the January window opening, according to a new report.

Arsenal’s recruitment process is currently led by the club’s sporting director, Edu, with manager Mikel Arteta having a major input into signings in and out.

Arteta was desperate to sign midfielder Declan Rice from West Ham in the summer – so much so that Rice subsequently became the most expensive English player in history when he moved to the Emirates Stadium.

And in an interview after his transfer, Rice revealed that Arteta was the key reason behind his decision to turn down moves to Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

He told Channel 4: “I have to say the manager, Mikel [was the reason why I signed].

“I think from the moment that I met him, I knew he was the one that I wanted to take care of the next part of my career.

“Just the way he spoke, his aura, the way he sees the game, the way he wants to play football.”

While Arteta and his recruitment team have successfully signed players to play key roles for Arsenal, he has also utilised the club’s world-class academy, with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe all becoming important players for differing lengths of his management spell.

Now, according to Football Insider, the Gunners are set to appoint a new backroom staff member to assist with transfers in January and beyond.

It is reported that they have agreed a deal to appoint Phil Cowen from Rangers, where he worked as part of the senior recruitment team.

The report adds that Cowen will lead Arsenal’s academy scouting department, where he will help to identify the stars of the future for Mikel Arteta’s side.

It is said that, per sources, Cowen will start his role in the new year, meaning he could help Arsenal to continue their past blueprint of bringing in young players from elsewhere, such as Lino Sousa and Marquinhos.

One of his first signings, Football Insider claim, could be 17-year-old goalkeeper Mason Munn, who was brought to Rangers by Cowen and is reportedly already being tracked by Arsenal.