Cesc Fabregas has paid tribute to the “football brain” of Francis Cagigao after seeing Arsenal take the surprise decision to part with their head of recruitment.
After more than two decades in north London, a top talent spotter is being allowed to leave north London.
Those at Emirates Stadium are looking to freshen things up behind the scenes, with technical director Edu leading that process.
It has been revealed that 55 members of staff have been made redundant by Arsenal, although those leaving the club’s scouting department do not form part of that.
The Gunners are merely looking to move in a different direction, with Mikel Arteta overseeing what the Premier League giants hope will be an exciting new era.
There will be casualties along the way, with Cagigao among those to have been informed that their services are no longer required.
That call has shocked many, with a man who has spent 24 years unearthing hidden gems now being forced to open a new chapter in his career.
Fabregas, who is among those that Cagigao took to north London, has paid tribute to a man who oversaw a lot of positive work behind the scenes at Highbury and Emirates Stadium.
The Spaniard, who swapped life in Barcelona’s academy system for that at Arsenal in 2003 and went on to become club captain over the course of an eight-year spell, posted on social media: “Thank you for the 24+ years of devotion, respect, loyalty and love you gave to Arsenal.
“Nothing would have been the same for if you didn’t spot me at 15 years old.
“I wish you all the very best for the future. Your next team will be very lucky to have your football brain.”
After both sides failed to find the back of the net in regulation time, the game proceeded into penalties and the 23-year-old swiftly converted his effort to help his side advance to the next stage of the competition.
“Kelechi’s never missed a penalty. I’ve never seen him miss a penalty,” Ndidi told Leicester Mercury.
Leicester full-back Christian Fuchs also backed the midfielder, saying: “He’s unbelievable. The best penalty taker I’ve seen.”
Perez, who joined the Foxes last summer from Newcastle United, however, doubted the claims, given Iheanacho is not a regular penalty taker for the club.
“When is he even taking penalties?” Perez said and Ndidi replied, saying “You’ve not seen him? He never misses.”
Iheanacho has scored nine goals in 71 Premier League appearances since he joined the Foxes from Manchester City in the summer of 2017.
In the 2019-20 season, the Super Eagles striker scored 10 goals and provided four assists in 26 appearances across all competitions
His effort helped Brendan Rodgers’ side secure a place in next season’s Europa League after finishing fifth on the Premier League table.
Current Arsenal stars Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli are among Cagigao’s other notable success stories.
His contact book was considered to be the envy of many in world football, with his importance recognised by many at Arsenal.
The Gunners have, however, moved towards a more agent-led approach to transfers in recent times – with deals for David Luiz and Cedric Soares considered to be an example of that, while the Gunners are also looking to snap up experienced Brazil international Willian as a free agent.