Arsene Wenger poaches Arsenal’s long-serving analytics guru to join him in new role at FIFA

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger poaches club's analytics guru
The Frenchman has raided his old club to take up a new role at football’s governing body (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger has raided his old club to recruit Jason Rosenfeld for a new role at FIFA, the man who has headed up the Gunners’ data and analytics for almost a decade.

Wenger left the Emirates in 2018, bringing to an end his 22-year reign at the club, and after briefly flirting with a return to management eventually called quits on his coaching career to take up a role as head of global football development with FIFA.

According to The Athletic, Wenger has identified analytics as an area that needs improvement in the global game and has brought in old pal Rosenfeld to assist him.

The two men have an excellent working relationship, with Rosenfeld having overseen StatDNA – the analytics company that Arsenal bought in 2012 having been so impressed with their work.

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That £2million purchase saw statDNA move in-house – and they have since been rebranded to Arsenal Data Analytics – with the department playing a key role in the club being regarded as one of the best at harnessing data in the Premier League.

In fact, when Rosenfeld first pitched to Arsenal back in 2011 – having worked on a consultancy basis before the buyout – he explained how analytics could dramatically improve the Gunners’ recruitment.

Flop Marouane Chamakh, who was signed from Bordeaux, was used as an example of the kind of lacklustre deal a strong analytics and data department could avoid.

The Athletic report that Wenger was hugely impressed by the work of Rosenfeld and his team, using their data to decide transfer targets, scout opponents and tailor training.

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger wants to make football a more level playing field in his new role at FIFA (Picture: Getty)

However, their role has diminished more recently, particularly in the transfer market, with new head of football Raul Sanllehi ‘preferring a contract-led approach to transfer business’ rather than analytics.

Nevertheless, Rosenfeld – who remains highly thought of around the Emirates despite his departure – is still held in high esteem by Wenger, who hopes he can close the gap between the bigger and smaller nations in terms of their access to and application of data.

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