Shaun O’Connor, the renowned scout credited with discovering Jack Wilshere, has returned to Arsenal after a five-year absence.
O’Connor, who also recruited Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Sanchez Watt and Cedric Evina during his initial ten-year stint at the club, left in 2009 owing to in-house politics and relocated to Brentford.
However, he has now returned to Arsenal and it is hoped that he will be able to put his vast collection of contacts to good use as the Gunners attempt to drastically improve the quality of players coming through the club’s academy. Wilshere and Ashley Cole are the only players to have established themselves as first-team regulars since the Academy’s reformation who have come all the way through the club’s system.
With Andries Jonker about to commence his tenure as the club’s Academy Manager, this is a time of considerable re-shuffling for the club beyond first-team level.