This morning, Arsenal put out a short communique regarding the future of their Head of Recruitment and it confirms what had been rumoured for weeks. Sven Mislintat will be leaving the club on February 8th.
The characteristically terse announcement was fairly corporate bland:
Sven has been with us since December 1, 2017 and has done a truly outstanding job in helping us recruit players who are making a big impact now and will do so even more in the future.
We wish him every success for the future and thank him for his extremely hard work on behalf of Arsenal.
Nothing like a “yeah, he was here and, hey, nice job” as a send off for a man who was supposed to be a key brain in the Arsenal rebuild barely a year ago. The departure isn’t a vote of confidence in the new team but it also can’t be seen as a reflection of Mislintat’s work.
Arriving just ahead of the 2018 Winter Transfer Window, it’s hard to tell how much he was already involved in the business of an uncharacteristically busy window. It saw a clearing of the deck with the departures of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin and somehow finding a buyer for Mathieu Debuchy. The arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and youngster Dino Mavropanos worked well enough, if panned as a Dortmund’ing of the team.
His summer window, though, provided some very good players. Lucas Torreira, Sokratis and Matteo Guendouzi have fast become important players to the team. Bernd Leno and Stephan Lichsteiner... less so. Either way, it was a decent enough window to provide Arsenal with pieces to be better.
Then we get to now. Rumours of Sven being freezed out or ignored and an overall move to “older players” or “loans” or “letting some of your best players just leave.” None of the noise coming form the club matches with effectively using Mislintat’s talents of building a younger talented, dare I say, Dortmund’y team, instead relying on Raul Sanllehi’s preference of going through player agents and connections. Thus, it seems, his departure.
For his part, Sven was nice enough in goodbye:
“It’s been an amazing experience to work at a great club like Arsenal in what has been a big time of change. I am excited about what the future holds for the club and am looking forward to new challenges for myself.”
Guess that’s easy when you’re likely off to build Bayern Munich into another powerhouse.