Arsenal have confirmed the appointment of Kevin Betsy as their new under-23s head coach.
The role had been vacant following the departure of Steve Bould earlier in the summer, but has now been filled by academy chief Per Mertesacker’s number one managerial target.
Not only has Betsy been tasked with following in the footsteps of the all-time Arsenal great, he is now in charge of producing the next wave of exciting talent at Hale End.
It is something the 43-year-old clearly intends to do as he sat down for his first interview as Gunners under-23 head coach and outlined his plans for the future.
“It’s an honour and privilege to be joining Arsenal as Under-23s Head Coach. Arsenal is of course an iconic club in world football with such a rich history,” Betsy said. “This is also a club with a very strong current record of developing young football players for the highest level, but also placing an emphasis on producing well-rounded young people.
“I’ve had a tremendous five years working with the Football Association in vital roles across the England youth teams.
“During this time I’ve worked with many hugely talented young players and some amazing colleagues in a wide range of departments.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the FA and in particular Technical Director John McDermott for allowing me to take this opportunity and making my transition into Arsenal so smooth.
“Throughout my recruitment process, I’ve had some extremely positive discussions with Per Mertesacker, Luke Hobbs and senior management at Arsenal, which has made my decision to come to the club even easier.
“My work starts here and together with the talented people at this club, we aim to continue the strong work of providing the pipeline of talent to support the first team, whilst at the same time instilling the values and traditions of this football club, so that young players are ready for life as well as football.”
Those comments about providing talent to the Arsenal first-team will certainly be of interest to Miguel Azeez and Kido Taylor-Hart, in particular.
The pair appear to be closest to a first-team promotion at present with Azeez scoring in a pre-season friendly win over Watford last week.
Meanwhile, football.london understands that it’s unlikely that he will go on loan this summer despite some rumours to the contrary, but that could depend on the rest of Arsenal’s midfield options.
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Taylor-Hart committed his future to Arsenal on Monday, signing his first professional contract and is considered one of the top three fastest players in the Arsenal academy set-up.
Under the guidance of Betsy, it could be that Azeez and Taylor-Hart follow in the footsteps of Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah.
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