Arsenal Appoint Ex-Barcelona and Bayern Man Andries Jonker as Academy Manager

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Arsenal Appoint Ex-Barcelona and Bayern Man Andries Jonker as Academy Manager
Michael Will/Associated Press
Andries Jonker, left, will leave Wolfsburg for Arsenal.

Arsenal have appointed former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Andries Jonker as the head of their academy.

The club's official Twitter account confirmed the news:

Jonker, 51, is currently assistant manager at Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg and will formally join Arsenal on July 1, when he will replace club legend Liam Brady.

Brady will work with Jonker to ensure a smooth handover period takes place.

Former Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp, who is currently assistant coach at Ajax, had been linked with the position and had confirmed his potential interest in the role, per Jamie Sanderson in the Metro.

TOM HEVEZI/Associated Press
Former Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp was linked with the position.

Jonker spent seven years as a coach for the KNVB (Dutch Football Association), as well as managing the Under-15 and Under-21 sides and serving as the federation's technical manager for a short period.

He also worked alongside current Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, giving him a wealth of experience working at the top level in European football and alongside some of the biggest players.

Arsene Wenger highlighted Jonker's work in the Netherlands when welcoming his appointment, per the club's official news release:

I am very pleased that Andries is joining us. He has a big reputation in the game and was a key part of the team which developed the structures which are now producing such strong young players in Holland.

I look forward to working with him. I would also like to thank Liam for his work which has been outstanding over many years.

The position of managing the Gunners' academy is as important a job at Arsenal as at any side in the world. The club are renowned for their ability to bring young players through, and in their current first-team squad, Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny and Kieran Gibbs have all graduated through the youth ranks.

Wenger takes particular pride in the development of young talent and will work closely with Jonker to maintain a steady stream to continue to make their way from the youth setup into the first team.

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