Arsenal appoint Mislintat to 'take recruitment forwards'

SVEN MISLINTAT, Borussia Dortmund’s Head of Professional Football and the man nicknamed “Diamond Eye”, has joined Arsenal as Head of Recruitment.

Arsenal announced the appointment on their website, saying the 45-year-old was “one of Europe’s most respected player recruitment experts” and would have responsibilities “across the first team and academy”.

He will start in December “and will work closely with manager Arsène Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, plus other coaches, the background analytics team and our global scouting network”.

Meanwhile, the club announced that chief scout Steve Rowley would be leaving after 25 years at the club, although he would continue to work for the Gunners “on a consultancy basis”.

Wenger said: “We are delighted that Sven is joining us. 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.

“We would like to thank Steve Rowley for all his hard work over many years for the club. He has been a key figure in our recruitment of so many top players and has travelled thousands and thousands of miles, watching hundreds of games for us during his time at the club. We wish him well for the future.”

In a statement on Dortmund’s website, Mislintat said: ”I’d like to thank my bosses. [CEO] Aki Watzke and [sporting director] Michael Zorc have stood behind me during all these years.

“They got me on board when the task arose of organising the BVB scouting department in such a way that it would always operate at a high level regardless of individuals.

“That was very important for me. I was born and grew up here, have worked for the club since 2006 and am a Black and Yellow through and through. And I will always remain so."

Arsenal have undertaken a significant overhaul of their backroom team since the end of last season.

Darren Burgess has joined as Head of Elite Performance; Hussein Fahmy has arrived from Team Sky to deal with contract negotiations; Jens Lehmann has become a first-team coach; and Per Mertesacker will take charge of the Academy in the summer.

Here are five facts about Mislintat:

  1. Playing career: Ended his career with VfL Kamen in the lower leagues, combining the role of assistant coach. Joined Dortmund as a scout in 2006.
  2. Shinji Kagawa: “The key player for my career was Kagawa,” Mislintat has said. In 2010, he identified the young Cerezo Osaka playmaker, travelling to Japan six times to watch him. Kagawa went on to become a key player for Dortmund as they won the Bundesliga in 2011 and 2012 and later secured a big-money move to Manchester United.
  3. Other hits: Dortmund’s recruitment has been essentially excellent over the last decade and Mislintat is credited with identifying and signing the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele - although it has to be pointed out that recruitment is seldom down to just one man.
  4. Promotion: As Mislintat’s reputation grew, so too did interest from other clubs. When there were reports that Bayern Munich wanted to make him their Sporting Director, Dortmund promoted Mislintat to Head of Professional Football, with a contract until 2021.
  5. Technology: Mislintat is credited with being a key driver of the Footbonaut, Dortmund’s legendary skills machine. He is also involved with the German data analytics firm matchmetrics.

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