The Premier League title drought is all too real down at the Emirates, 14 years and counting. Yeah, Arsenal have won an FA Cup or four since Arsene Wenger led his team through the 2003-2004 season unbeaten. Establishing both the club and himself to the top table in English football but Arsenal missed out on the Champions League for the second season in a row and with Spurs finishing above them again, those days of the Invincibles seem a long time ago. But with Arsenal recruiting Sven Mislintat as chief scout they’re future in the transfer market looks a lot brighter.
Sven Mislintat wasn’t a talented footballer, didn’t have a good career and came into the role of head scout at Dortmund more else by accident. In 03/04 Dortmund were struggling financially, accumulating debts totalling £100 million and came perilously close to declaring bankruptcy. Partly out of necessity, the club decided to trust young, cheap and even homegrown players who could hopefully offset their lack of experience with passion and enthusiasm.
Mislintat was employed as a scout in 2006, working closely with sporting director Michael Zorc. His appointment coincided with the Moneyball boom from American Major League Baseball, where analytics in sport became the holy grail. Mislintat a young sport scientist with meticulousness to his method, had his big break which had helped him ascend the scouting ladder. He was very good at organising the scouting process and had a wide range of scouts from young to old working for him, so he had this variety of opinions on players.
Mislintat was essential in recruiting the likes of Matt Hummels, Jakub Błaszczykowski, Neven Subotić, Sven Bender and Lewandowski. A crop of players that came to be known as the golden generation. They won back-to-back Bundesliga titles including doubles first league and cup double in 2012 as well as reaching the 2013 Champions League final. Jurgen Klopp’s magical scouting system, constantly turned massive profits for Dortmund. Shinji Kagawa, who signed for £350,000, was sold to Manchester United for £15.6 five million profit two years later. French youngster Dembélé was captured in 2016 for £13.5 million before signing for La Liga giants Barcelona in the summer for a staggering fee of £96 million plus add-ons which could rise to £136 million. American wonderkid Christian Pulisic joined Dortmund for free in 2015 and has been touted as one of the best teenagers in the world following his recent performances.
Even after all these massive signings, Mislintat was still a bit of a faceless man to many but his reputation soared to the extent that Bayern Munich made an attempt to make him their new technical director two seasons ago. A disagreement between Mislintat and Thomas Tuchel made headlines. It was announced in November 2017 that the man nicknames ‘diamond eye’ in his native country would be transferring to North London just in time for the transfer window has Arsenal fans buzzing. He won’t be able to single-handedly turn the club around and will need time to adjust as the Bundesliga is very different to the Premier League.