Scott Munn is in his first official day as Head of Football Operations at Tottenham Hotspur and he’s already cleaning house. In news first broken by Dave Hytner of The Guardian and confirmed by multiple other outlets, Tottenham has parted ways with Leonardo Gabbanini, their top scout and a key backroom player in this past summer’s transfer window.
Gabbanini was a Fabio Paratici appointment and joined the club in 2022 where he served a similar role at Watford. He was heavily involved in the identification and recruitment of talent at Spurs this past summer and had an increasingly important role at the club after Paratici’s resignation under the cloud of the Juventus scandals.
So what happened? Well, we’re not sure. The wording being used by Hytner is “left the club” but it’s been my experience that “left the club” can range anywhere from “resigned his position” to “got sacked.” After a quick discussion in the writer’s room, our best guess is that Gabbanini was positioning himself to be a candidate for the vacant Director of Football position, which is top of Munn’s remit upon actually starting the job. His departure paints a picture that perhaps Munn passed him over for the job, and he decided to leave the club.
Obviously we don’t know if that’s the case, but it’s a pretty compelling explanation of the news. If Munn wants his own guy in there, either as a DoF or Technical Director, or whatever, and if Gabbanini was basically serving in that role in an informal or interim role, then it stands to reason that he might not want to stick around as a head scout under a new regime.
This also suggests that we might be hearing about a new appointment to the backroom staff in the near future. Who that is and what the exact position is remains to be seen.
Gabbanini reportedly did some very good work and was a big part of the scouting staff’s transition to a new data-led system of recruitment. Hopefully that continues with whoever new comes in.