Few off-field appointments have generated as much excitement within a club’s fanbase as Arsenal’s recruitment of Sven Mislintat in November 2017. Having earned the nickname ‘Diamond Eye’ in his native Germany, Mislintat arrived in north London with a reputation for unearthing hidden talents that could become world-class stars.
Arsenal gushed that Mislintat was the key figure behind the “pipeline of talent” at Borussia Dortmund, and it was easy to see the appeal to both the supporters and, crucially, the most senior figures within the club’s hierarchy.
On paper at least, Mislintat is a financial godsend for a club that needs all the advantages it can get under Stan Kroenke’s ownership. In Mislintat, Arsenal have a recruitment guru who can find those little-known gems who have the potential to become lucrative assets. With Mislintat, the thinking goes, Arsenal can buy cheap and sell high.
Never has this been more important than in the current climate, when Arsenal are operating with a self-sustainable business model which means they can only invest what they generate themselves. They are competing against clubs with owners who are willing to plough their own money into their respective teams, so Arsenal know they must be smarter and sharper if they are to even keep up with their rivals.