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Frank Arnesen (born 30 September 1956 in Copenhagenmarker) is a Danishmarker former football player and current Director of Football at Englishmarker football club Chelsea F.C.. As a player, he most notably played with Dutchmarker clubs Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eindhoven, winning the 1988 European Cup with PSV. Arnesen was capped 52 times and scored 14 goals for the Danish national team, and participated in the Euro 1984 and 1986 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Playing career

Arnesen moved from childhood club Fremad Amager, in the lower leagues of Danish football, to the big Dutchmarker team Ajax Amsterdam in November/December 1975. At the time he was only 19, and he made the move together with Fremad Amager teammate Søren Lerby, who was only 17. Arnesen got his debut with Ajax 3 or 4 months later, on 7 March 1976, in a 1–1 draw with FC Utrecht. It was also in his time at Ajax, that Arnesen debuted for the Danish national team, in a 1977 friendly 1–0 loss against Sweden, in Malmömarker. In Arnesen's six seasons at Ajax, he won three Dutch Eredivisie championship titles in 1977, 1979, and 1980, and won the KNVB Cup in 1979, beating FC Twente 3–0 in the final. In 1980, Arnesen and Ajax reached the semi-final of the European Cup, before they were eliminated by English team Nottingham Forest (2-0 away loss, 1-0 home win).

In the summer of 1981, Arnesen was bought by Spanishmarker side Valencia CF, and two years later he went to Belgiummarker to play for RSC Anderlecht. In November 1985, Arnesen returned to Holland to play for Ajax' rivals PSV Eindhoven. Here he saw three extremely successful seasons, winning the Eredivisie three years in a row, in 1986, 1987, and 1988, with fellow Danes Jan Heintze, Søren Lerby and Ivan Nielsen also in the team. Arnesen stopped his international career in 1987, after the Danish team qualified for the Euro 1988. In 1988, he won the KNVB Cup once more, and he was part of the PSV team that conquered the European Cup, though he did not play in the final match due to injury.

Managerial career

After his active career, Frank Arnesen was first appointed assistant coach at PSV under Bobby Robson from 1991 to 1993, and in 1994 he became the general manager of the club. Arnesen spent 10 years as director of football at PSV Eindhoven, and was credited with discovering major talents, such as Brazilianmarker striker Ronaldo and Dutch players Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and Arjen Robben. In May 2004, Arnesen was brought to Tottenham Hotspur, replacing David Pleat. Arnesen was to function as the manager responsible for player transfers and scouting for new talent, while coach Jacques Santini handled the daily training sessions and match setups; an arrangement identical to Arnesen's days as PSV manager. Things didn't work out well, and Santini left within months citing "personal problems" as his reason for leaving. Arnesen's original hiring for assistant coach, Martin Jol, was put in charge of the club.

Arnesen was suspended by Spurs on 4 June 2005 for expressing a desire to move to rival club Chelsea F.C., after Chelsea allegedly made an illegal approach to sign him as manager. Arnesen was photographed aboard one of Roman Abramovich's three luxury yachts on 22 June 2005 thus reinforcing Tottenham's compensation claim. Arnesen was recommended to Abramovich by Piet de Visser, in a move which was opposed by Jose Mourinho. On 24 June, both clubs announced that they had reached a financial settlement, later disclosed to be £5 million but widely reported to be closer to £8 million, and Arnesen would move to Chelsea, filling in the role of head talent scout, in charge of uncovering footballing talents. The decision has been compared to that of Sol Campbell, who moved to arch-rivals Arsenal F.C. under the Bosman ruling in 2001, making him unpopular with the Tottenham fans. Arnesen has since played a key role in bringing Salomon Kalou and John Obi Mikel to Chelsea. Recently it has been reported that former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has blamed Arnesen for the lack of talented youth in the Chelsea ranks.

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