Arsenal: Sven Mislintat's legacy is being torn to shreds by the club's new regime

Sven Mislintat

When Sven Mislintat arrived at Arsenal in November 2017, there was a sense of expectation.

Were Arsenal finally going to get their recruitment right? Were they finally going to spend big sums of money on a regular basis?

They were both viable questions, particularly when you consider some of the players he helped bring to Borussia Dortmund, another of his former employers. 

In Germany, he was renowned as one of the best talent spotters in the world, helping to bring the likes of Jakub Blaszczykowski, Neven Subotic and Sven Bender to recognition. He was also the man to discover Mats Hummels, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and most impressively, Robert Lewandowski. 

If that wasn't enough, Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele was also a Mislintat signing when he was at Dortmund.

Consequently, you'd be forgiven for thinking the German would do the same at Arsenal.

Robert Lewandowski

However, 14 months after joining the Gunners to beef up their recruitment, he departed the club with a strange list of names he'd brought to the club.

The first was a certain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the man who became Arsene Wenger's final signing in north London.

He was a superb parting gift, leading Arsenal to FA Cup glory last season and then against all odds, signing a new contract in the summer after scoring 29 goals in 44 games. 

Aubameyang has become the club's captain and under Mikel Arteta, is their most important player. 

Yet, beyond the lightning-quick forward, Mislintat's work at Arsenal was questionable - something that's now illustrated by the current squad.

Arteta and Aubameyang

Of the German's eight signings, just two of them are currently in the first-team picture. Aubameyang, of course, is one. The other? Goalkeeper Bernd Leno, someone whose position came under question with the good form of Emiliano Martinez last term.

The remaining six players were brought to the club for a combined fee of £53.5m and have proven to be a considerable waste of money. 

The most expensive of them all was Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan midfielder was a pillar of consistency in his first few months at Arsenal, winning numerous Man of the Match awards. However, he fell out of the team under Arteta and is now on loan at Atletico Madrid.

It feels unlikely he'll have a long-term future at Arsenal while central defender, Sokratis, definitely won't.

He cost Arsenal £17.7m when Mislintat identified him as a man to fix their defensive issues. However, he has been left out of both of the side's Premier League and Europa League squads alongside Mesut Ozil. 


Another player Mislintat identified was that of French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. He has a high ceiling but after an incident with Neal Maupay at Brighton last season, hasn't played a single minute for the club.

He has been loaned out to Hertha Berlin for the 2020/21 campaign and has work to do in order to prove himself to the current coaching staff at the Emirates Stadium. 

As for the final three signings, the less said the better. Stephan Lichtsteiner played just one season in north London after arriving on a free transfer and young defender Konstantinos Mavropanos has been injury-prone. He did pen new terms this summer but is currently on loan at Stuttgart. 

The final player from the Mislintat catalogue is Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Although this came about in very strange circumstances with the exit of Alexis Sanchez, he was not the creative force we saw in Dortmund. 

The Armenian had his contract mutually terminated over the summer which allowed him to join Roma after finding the net nine times in 59 games. It wasn't a disastrous signing but at the same time, it summed up the pretty average recruitment under Mislintat. 

Mkhitaryan and Torreira in Arsenal training

But why is this all so significant? Well, his legacy is effectively being torn to shreds by Arsenal's new regime.

Under Arteta and Edu, the Gunners now have a more regimented transfer strategy and the pair of them have had to make brutal decisions regarding the playing squad.

The very fact that Ozil can find no place tells you all you need to know about the type of rulings being nailed down in Islington. 

In such a short space of time, Edu has changed the face of the football club. The likes of Francis Cagigao and Raul Sanllehi have both left and now rather than a whole host of cooks making the broth, they now have just two - Arteta and their technical director. 

With that in mind, Mislintat's place at Arsenal may have been in doubt anyway.

Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar

Ultimately, however, he has been no big loss. 

He left the Premier League club behind in February 2019 after making a pretty minimal impact on proceedings. 

Since then, some huge moves have been made in the market. Nicolas Pepe was signed for £72m and then Gabriel and Thomas Partey were welcomed this summer.

Those final two recruits suggest they already have a better plan in place to succeed than they did previously.

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