Arsenal sign Leicester City's head scout Ben Wrigglesworth
Arsenal may have had a very quiet winter transfer window by signing only midfielder Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel, but they did secure another signing from Leicester City which will help the club in the long run. The Foxes are currently top of the league but lost one of their biggest assets in Ben Wrigglesworth to the Gunners.
Wrigglesworth is not a player. In fact, he is the head of the technical scouting committee at Leicester. After almost four years with the club, overseeing the players the club brought in to help them secure promotion to the Premier League and now top the table, Wrigglesworth will now help the Gunners as a first-team video scout.
The announcement comes at a time when Arsenal next host Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium this Sunday. Arsene Wenger’s side are currently five points behind in third place and are one of two teams to beat Claudio Ranieri’s side this season.
Earlier reports had suggested that Wrigglesworth was being sounded out to come into the Arsenal setup and the scout now confirmed his decision to join the north London club on Twitter. The Gunners have been looking to completely change their system and he was one of their main targets.
Leaving Leicester was a difficult decision: Wrigglesworth
In a series of tweets, Wrigglesworth confirmed the move and also wished the Foxes well in the future. He also spoke about how it was a very difficult decision to make considering the time he had spent at the club.
“After 3-and-a-half unbelievable seasons, working with amazing people, I am now starting a new chapter,” Wrigglesworth said. “It was a very difficult decision, leaving Leicester, but I had to take an opportunity that doesn’t come round often.”
“I only wish the best for Leicester in the future and will always be eternally grateful to them for getting me to where I am.”
This comes as a blow to the Foxes who had already lost their previous head Rob Mackenzie to Tottenham Hotspur a year ago.
Wrigglesworth credited with major signings at Leicester
Wrigglesworth had joined the Foxes from Notts County in 2012, where he was an analyst intern. With the Foxes, he had first joined as a technical scout intern before being promoted to the post of technical scout.
Over the last three seasons, he had helped the club identify players who have been crucial to the Foxes’ Premier League title hopes this season. The likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante had been identified by Wrigglesworth.
Vardy had been signed from Fleetwood Town for a fee of £1m – the most expensive non-league transfer at the time. Mahrez was signed for just £400,000 and could take home the Player of the Season award for his performances in 2015/16. Vardy and Mahrez alone have scored 32 goals this season. Meanwhile, midfielder Kante was bought for £5.6m from French Ligue 1 side Caen.