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Arsenal promote lead analyst to become club's first Loans Manager

Bengaluru, Jan 9: Arsenal are set to introduce a brand new role in their backroom set-up as according to reports, the Gunners have promoted lead analyst Ben Knapper as the club’s first Loans Manager, following the example of a number of other Premier League sides.

Knapper, who has been at Emirates since 2010, joining them from statistical analysis firm Prozone, will now work closely with the head of football Raul Sanllehi and academy chief Per Mertesacker tracking the progress of loan players while ensuring also the academy youngsters go to the right clubs on loan.

According to Football London, the Englishman will begin his new role on February 1st after the transfer window closes.

Loan system of players has become an integral part of world football as it provides youngsters tremendous exposure as well proper time to develop themselves in a different environment.

In the same very role, fellow Premier league side Bournemouth already have ex-midfielder Carl Fletcher as their loan player-manager, while Chelsea – who currently have no fewer than 39 players out on loan – have two former players, Tore Andre Flo and Paulo Ferreira, working in the same position.

Arsenal will now follow the same pattern on their attempt to restructure and ongoing modernisation in the club following the departure of long-serving manager Arsène Wenger and CEO Ivan Gazidis.

The Gunners have seven players out on loan: English attacker Reiss Nelson (Hoffenheim) , Colombian keeper David Ospina (Napoli), Nigerian midfielder Kelechi Nwakali (Porto B), versatile England defender Calum Chambers (Fulham), 24-year-old keeper Matt Macey (Plymouth), Japan striker Takuma Asano (Hannover 96) and Krystian Bielik (Charlton) and the new loan-manager Knapper will now monitor how they are doing away from the club while also selecting which players from academy should further go out on loan and where.

In recent years, Arsenal have had very mixed success with the loan system with Players like Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin playing a big part in the first team-setup while youngster Nelson looks to be in contention next season following a superb campaign in Germany.

And Knapper's appointment could be now viewed as an indication that Arsenal are happy with the course of the loan system and likely to be loaning out more prospects in the summer looking for more positive outcome.

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 12:14 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 9, 2019
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