Gazidis leaves Arsenal in good shape, insists Emery

Ivan Gazidis is leaving his post as Arsenal chief executive for AC Milan in October, but Unai Emery rates his successors highly.

Arsenal coach Unai Emery   -  Getty Images

Unai Emery is convinced Ivan Gazidis has left Arsenal in great hands after it was announced the club's chief executive is set to take up a position at AC Milan.

Following significant speculation, it was finally confirmed on Tuesday that Gazidis' time at Arsenal is to come to an end in October after striking a deal with Milan's owners, Elliott Management.

Arsenal revealed that Gazidis' exit will result in restructuring of its hierarchy, with Raul Sanllehi's position of head of football relations becoming head of football and Vinai Venkatesham – formerly chief commercial officer – now managing director.

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Gazidis was understood to be part of a three-man committee who decide on signings and coaching appointments, with Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat the other two.

And, while Arsenal is not set to bring in a new chief executive, Emery is confident those taking over Gazidis' various responsibilities can cope.

"The first three months with Ivan were very important for me because he's a big person, and a professional person too," Emery told reporters in his news conference, ahead of the Europa League clash with Vorskla.

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"The relationship between us was very close for three months. We spoke a lot about football, about management, about how big Arsenal is and our responsibility."

"His decision [to leave] is a private one which I respect. I know Ivan is giving us the best next people [as his successors] to take the responsibility to continue to do good work."

Stephan Lichtsteiner was also present and was put in a somewhat awkward position when asked about his lack of playing time under Emery compared to last season at Juventus.

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The Swiss full-back featured 27 times in his final campaign in Serie A, but has so far appeared just once in the Premier League, coming off the bench in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.

"I'm not frustrated, but of course, I'm not used to being on the bench more than three times in a row," the 34-year-old said.

"It's also a new situation for me and I'm curious how I'll manage it. I'm here to work, to get better personally, to get better with the team and I think we are in a very good way."

"I'm trying to start more and for that I have to work, that's the only thing I can do in this moment to show the coach that I'm ready to play. We are in a good way, I'm in a very good way and ready to play."

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