Arsenal Sign Borussia Dortmund Chief Scout Sven Mislintat
Arsenal have announced the recruitment of Borussia Dortmund's chief scout, Sven Mislintat, who will join the club in December.
The north London side said Mislintat will "work closely with manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, plus other coaches, the background analytics team and our global scouting network."
Mislintat spoke to Sport Bild (via Kevin Beirne of Football.London), revealing former BVB manager Thomas Tuchel, who left the club in May, was the primary reason why he left Dortmund.
"I would probably never have thought of engaging with other clubs," Mislintat said. "The ban initiated by the former coach to enter the training ground and instruct me to stay away from the inner circle of players, the staff and many friends with whom I have worked closely for years has greatly influenced my thinking."
Sport Bild (h/t Owen Fulda of the Daily Star) first reported the move on Sunday, noting the Gunners have paid £1.8 million to Dortmund in compensation to sign Mislintat, who will replace chief scout Steve Rowley at the Emirates Stadium, with Rowley leaving the club at the end of the season.
However, James Olley of the Evening Standard reported the compensation fee to be lower:
"We are delighted that Sven is joining us," Wenger said in the club statement. "Identifying and developing talent is a core part of our philosophy, and Sven has an outstanding track record over many years. We look forward to him taking our existing recruitment approach forwards."
Mislintat, nicknamed "Diamond Eye" because of his eye for talent, played a key role in identifying the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembele for BVB, who won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 and made the UEFA Champions League final the following year.
His ability to do so on a budget while competing with the much wealthier Bayern Munich is said to be highly coveted by Arsenal.
The Gunners are very well run financially but are typically outspent by the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea each year, and Leicester City are the only team outside that trio to lift the Premier League since Arsenal last did so in 2004.
Bleacher Report's James McNicholas and football writer Raphael Honigstein believe Mislintat could have a significant impact at the Emirates:
His arrival will continue a behind-the-scenes overhaul at Arsenal, who have also seen chief transfer negotiator Dick Law leave the club, brought in Team Sky legal expert Huss Fahmy and been linked with the appointment of a sporting director, per John Cross of the Mirror.
The sections of the Emirates faithful who have called for Wenger to leave in recent years were no doubt disappointed when the Frenchman was given a new contract at the end of last season.
Indeed, their desire for change was understandable after yet another familiar year characterised by Premier League and Champions League failure.
However, while Wenger may still be in charge, the Gunners are trying to make improvements around the club with the aim of improving the team on the pitch.
Arsenal's recruitment has often been a sore spot when compared with their rivals' efforts in recent years, but if Mislintat can help them bring in players of the same calibre he brought in at Dortmund, his appointment could be a significant step toward domestic and perhaps even European success.