‘We want Arsenal to win the biggest trophies – Premier League and Champions League’

The new director of football, Raúl Sanllehí, and managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, talk about the club’s burning ambitions

Given the modern form of communication that links Arsenal’s most senior executives, it would not have been a surprise for the ping of a WhatsApp message to reverberate in the director’s box at the Emirates in the seconds after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Özil hurtled off in celebration of a goal against Leicester last Monday that got everyone talking. Stan Kroenke and his son Josh are in a WhatsApp group with a select group of Arsenal’s top management figures and it is not unusual for them to share transatlantic messages in the middle of a game.

Raúl Sanllehí and Vinai Venkatesham have the fleeting look of men who wonder about the wisdom of dropping details of an intriguing source of communication into conversation. “You have got into a hole, my friend,” Sanllehí jokes to his partner in the new Arsenal leadership team. But it is a sign of the new direction in which they are pushing that they naturally transmit a flow of openness and enthusiasm – a stronger human touch.

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