Arsenal academy boss Andries Jonker has left the club this morning, after taking up the vacant managerial position at Wolfsburg in Germany.
The 54 year old leaves North London after almost three years, having joined the set-up in mid-2014. Jonker was previously the assistant manager of Wolfsburg before his move to Arsenal and he has worked under some well-known managerial figures during his managerial career. His experience was wanted heavily by Arsenal before the move materialised and the Gunners were very keen upon his arrival, to see Jonker join the coaching set-up.
Jonker was poised with the task of taking control as chief of the youth academy at Arsenal and impressed during his time at the club. He’s worked with some of the players that now grace our first team, including Iwobi and Bellerin. Whilst other fringe first team players such as Maitland-Niles, Reine-Adelaide and Chuba Akpom have also worked under Jonker’s guidance.
On the move back to the Bundesliga, Jonker stated: “I have had a wonderful three years at Arsenal. We have made significant progress and it has been great to be part of a club which puts such an emphasis on developing young players through its academy.”
“There are some top young players in the Arsenal academy. I look forward to seeing them progress their careers.”
To know that Jonker is taking up a position at one of the biggest clubs in Germany, after spending a few years in the youth set up, just goes to show that the club was lucky to have him giving tips and advice to the younger members of our squad. Arsenal wishes him well in his move to the Bundesliga and like Jonker said in his statement, we look forward to seeing some of the young talents that the club has in its youth ranks, making in appearance for the first team in the not too distant future.
Freddie Ljungberg has also left, and we now need to ask who (or even if anyone) will be appointed to replace the Academy coaches. Could it be left vacant until the end of the season? Or maybe until the uncertainty surrounding Arsene Wenger’s future is finally cleared up?
Maybe Arsene could let Santi Cazorla look after them while he aims to build up his own fitness again? Will Steve Gatting be moved up a rung to cover for the rest of the campaign? I have also heard whispers that Dennis Bergkamp, Pep Segura (from Barcelona’s Academy) and Steve Morrow (Arsenal’s Head of Scouting in the Academy) are also in the frame.
What do you lot think?