THE lure of Arsenal, one of the heavyweight clubs of English football, proved too hard to resist for Terry Burton.
Camden-born Burton chose to quit Sheffield Wednesday 48 hours ago and become Arsenal’s new reserve-team manager and head development coach, replacing Arsene Wenger’s right-hand man Pat Rice. He is expected to work closely with the Gunners head of youth development Liam Brady.
As a youngster, Burton helped Arsenal clinch the FA Youth Cup in 1971 before taking charge of their youth set-up eight years later. In the mid-80s, he worked under Don Howe and George Graham and went on to coach and then manage Wimbledon from 2000 to 2004. He has also had coaching roles at Watford, Cardiff City and West Brom.
“Having started my career at Arsenal as a youth player, and then as a coach, I know the history, class and values of this great football club,” said Burton. “I can’t wait to get started in my new role and to meet the players and my new colleagues.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank [Wednesday manager] Dave Jones and everyone at Sheffield Wednesday for their support and understanding.
“Wednesday is a great club and I leave behind many great friends. I wish everyone at Sheffield Wednesday the best of luck for next season.”
Arsenal chief Wenger is happy to have got Burton on board.
The Frenchman said: “I have known Terry for many years and he is someone who is hugely respected and highly regarded in the game.
“Terry brings with him a wealth of coaching experience and he will be a great asset for us, working with our reserves and youth development players.”
The 59-year-old’s decision to rejoin the North London club is a big blow to Owls boss Dave Jones, just days before his squad are set begin pre-season training. In Burton, Jones, who has been away on holiday, has lost a key member of his backroom staff, who he has worked with for the last seven years at Cardiff and Wednesday, and a person who boasts a wealth of experience in the game.
Players at Hillsborough enjoyed Burton’s training methods and found him a very approachable, out-going individual. Ex-Wednesday goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell, now at Chesterfield, posted on Twitter: “Terry is a great coach and would be a loss for any club...sure he will be great with young players at Arsenal.”
Jones says he has no plans to add to his coaching staff following Burton’s departure. Paul Wilkinson, currently a coach and scout, is the likely candidate to fill the void.
The Owls chief has also confirmed he is close to completing a deal for attacking midfielder Paulo Regula. The Olhanense player has had a medical at Hillsborough but personal terms have yet to be agreed. Jones says Regula, aged 23, is capable of scoring goals and likes to get forward.
Of Regula, Jones said: “I’d say we’re not far away from having the details finalised and I’d like to think he’ll be in the first team squad.”
He added: “Everyone we’ve spoken to seems to think we’ve got a good deal with him and he’ll be a hit here.”
Jones expects there to be a lot more movement in the transfer market over the next two to three weeks. He is waiting for international clearance to come through for Diego Amado.
Ex-Wednesday right-back Jon Otsemobor, meanwhile, has penned a one-year deal at MK Dons to become their first signing of the summer.
DID YOU KNOW? James Tavernier, who had a productive loan spell at Wednesday last term, has signed a new three-year deal at Newcastle United. He played for three League One clubs last season.