Arsenal raid Dortmund for chief transfer guru, move seen as a coup

Sven Mislintat

Borussia Dortmund chief scout Sven Mislintat has joined Arsenal in a surprise coup for the Gunners, with the new man to become the club’s head of recruitment, as confirmed on the official website.

The two clubs have been negotiating a compensation fee for the 45-year-old, but the appointment has been formalised.

It is understood that the current occupant of the role, Steve Rowley, will remain at the Emirates Stadium until the end of the current campaign when he plans to retire following 35 years of service.

Mislintat comes with a stellar reputation as one of the key factors in Dortmund’s continued success in the Bundesliga and in European competition over recent years.

The 2013 Champions League finalists have operated on a far smaller budget than domestic rivals Bayern Munich but a number of shrewd signings have helped them to remain competitive.

The likes of Shinji Kagawa, Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembele all joined Dortmund on the back of Mislintat’s recommendation and each has gone on to achieve success with the club and command significant transfer fees on their departure.

The model of low spending and an eye for untapped talent is one that appeals to the Arsenal hierarchy, who in the past few summers have seen the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United splash out enormous sums of money in the transfer market.

Appointing Mislintat is seen as a way of bridging the gap and returning the Gunners to their previous status as title challengers.

Arsene Wenger, who has long championed young academy talent, has expressed his delight at the move being signed off.

“We are delighted that Sven is joining us,” the Arsenal boss said.

“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’s first task will be to oversee recruitment in the upcoming January transfer window, but the club have been reluctant to purchase mid-season in the past.

Arsenal bagged a significant win at the weekend, dispatching North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to move to within a point of the Premier League’s top four.

After facing FC Cologne in the Europa League on Thursday, Wenger’s men will travel to seventh-placed Burnley, who sit behind the Gunners only on goal difference.

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