Mislintat reveals background to Matteo Guendouzi signing

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Sven Mislintat says when he went to scout Matteo Guendouzi, he focused on the player’s weaknesses rather than his strengths, trying to decide if they were things that could improve sufficiently with coaching.

The Gunners snapped up the youngster this summer from Lorient for less than £8m, but the Head of Recruitment explained how the midfielder had been on his radar for some time – going back to the season before last when they were still in Ligue 1 and the then 17 year old made 8 appearances in the French top flight.

“I saw him at FC Lorient, when the club still was in the first division,” said Mislintat.

“I like the club, they always produce interesting players. Guendouzi stood out with his long hair and his personality.

“But I also concentrated on his weaknesses. Are they trainable? Matteo ran unnecessarily across the whole pitch, but I was sure that it would only be a matter of training and time, before he learned when to run.

“It was an important transfer for us, because we wanted to show the world – we’re still the old Arsenal, which gives opportunities to younger players.”

Having scouted some top notch players at Borussia Dortmund, Mislintat explained his role there and at Arsenal goes way beyond simply identifying talent, and he is involved in all aspects of the recruitment process.

“I was part of the team to choose Unai Emery as the next coach,” he explained.

“And ‘Head of Recriutment’ means I won’t only find targets but also get them to sign for the club.

“Even back in Dortmund there was no clear distincition (between the roles). For the transfers from Dan-Axel Zagadou, who we signed from PSG or Jadon Sancho from Manchester City, I held the talks with the agents, the players and their parents.”

As for the challenges he faces in England, he believes the strength of the rivals is something the Gunners have to contend with.

“If it’s leaked that we want to sign a player, at least two different clubs try to drive up the prices,” he said.

“In the Premier League there are at least three “Bayern Munichs”: the Manchester clubs and Chelsea. And there are three “Dortmunds”: Liverpool, Sp*rs and Arsenal.

“It’s a different contest.”

Translation via @Gandrasch 

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Deejay

Liverpool just sighed a keeper for 80 mil. I think they might be a “Bayern” as well.

andres76

But they are also selling players for a fortune. Sterling, Suarez and Coutinho have funded a lot of the players they are buying. Have to admit that they have been smart.

clins

agreed. thats why i think we should sell ozil and ramsey. no player is bigger than the cllub. sure we loose two good players , but the money we get from the same which wont be much and the money we save on their wages(which is a big positive) will help us get us more options. Thats what liverpool did, they sold coutinho and invested that money all over the team which i think made them better.

LEFT08

You mention selling Ozil and Ramsey. Would you recommend selling Torreira or Aubameyang if crazy bids came in though? Because that is exactly what happened at L’pool. They sold their star players, not the underachievers.

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Liverpool did not want to sell Coutinho, the player put in a transfer request and went on strike. However they do invest wisely when they sell big players : Suarez to replace Torres etc…

Cultured determination

The next shearer and england savior andy carolling was their replacement for torres. Ho ho ho. Merry chirstmas!

MrSymes

I’m not sure selling gifted want-away players for high sums could be argued as part of their business model. They could never have predicted those few wild values over a long period; it just happened and they sustained themselves by reinvesting. I think using net spend as a means of judging how a club has been managed (Spurs fans do this a lot) is a bit misleading. Anyway, Liverpool have made some great signings but also in their high-spending era they’ve spent tons on dross. Over the last five years they’ve spent 220 million more than us and won nothing.… Read more »

Jonas Sundstén

I would buy him just for the hair. I don’t understand what’s more to “scout”?

And_Unai_Said..

Fellaini would agree id say.

MkhiMouse

Kroenke may well be a douchebag, but he’s allowed a pretty good team to be assembled. That’s hopeful. Between front office personnel and coaching talent the Gunners compare favorably with any club in Europe. Whether the cash needed to maximize those talents ever materializes is another story . . .

Red-Sky

Don’t know what you’re on about. “pretty good” ? not really.
We lack quality in many areas. Back line, attacking midfield, wingers and mabye another low key full back signing.

Deejay

I think he’s referring to the administrative team.

Red-Sky

oh.
That’s probably Gazidis’s own work. He assembled them.

MkhiMouse

Thanks, Mr. Merson.

Savage

You’re cherry picking when to attribute things to the Kroenkes

Papas

Wenger our I say…

Papas

Out…damn…I was trialling this rather nice Cotes du Rhône for Crimbo…

BidOnLard

Sorry mate but this is a pretty decent team so far. Yes, there are weaker positions, but Arsenal’s issue is is that the competition really upped thei4 gamr in the last few seasons. Behind City who can throw any amount of money at a problem, there are about four more pretty good teams. The competition is pretty serious.

Rich

Kroenke has done nothing at Arsenal other than get a huge return on his investment, and taken £6,000,000 out of the club for nothing in return…
I could deal with the self sustainable model, but taking that money as soon as we were profitable, after sitting on his hands whilst we sold our best players season on season pissed me off no end.
Kroenke is a complete cu*t and deserves no credit whatsoever for anything, Emery has been a breath of fresh air and is exceeeding expectations, but this still doesn’t stop the Kroenke’s being cun*s

kaius

I keep seeing people say “Kroenke’s NFL and NBA teams are doing well this year, so maybe he actually knows what he’s doing”…

…no he doesn’t. He’s still a wealthy clueless c*unt. Became majority owner of a club that just built a modern marvel of a stadium, and wasted the next decade of our time. And Wenger’s time as well. Even his moustache is a c*nt.

Reality check

I’d love to be clueless if it makes me billions of dollars. Jokes aside, for all their stingines you only have to look at Man U to see that Kronkes are not that clueless. We handled our transition a lot better than the clueless United. Gazidis wanted Arteta but Kroenkes went for tried and tested Emery, hence the reason Gazidis jumping ship i think. He didn’t want to be blamed if things go south which is understandable. But fortunately, things are going well so no complaints.

Rich

Kroenke’s didn’t pick Emery, they just signed off on it based on the recommendation of people tasked with recruiting a new manager. Taking over from Fergie who had just won the title is a harder job than taking over Arsenal who had just finished 6th and 5th the two previous seasons, our aspirations are that Emery is exceeding our expectations when we’re currently sitting in 5th place. Kroenke married into money, so he’s hardly a self made man, he married a Walton and through that had doors and opportunities open up to him that he otherwise wouldn’t. Gazidis jumped ship… Read more »

Al Gilmore

Taking 6mill out of the club is actually not that much. Of course it’s a lot for you and I but not for him. That’s a modest return on an investment.

The sums the Glazers take out of Man U dwarf this amount and they didn’t even buy the club outright the way Kroenke has.

Not saying Kroenkes are wonderful. Not saying we haven’t made mistakes. But 6mill is relatively little

Caught in two minds

Im not sure of what to think of Kroenke anymore. Last year he would have definetely been in a cunt category. but this year he “allowed” changes and the team seemed to b doing well. I will reserve my judgement for 2 transfer windows. If we make proper signings to take this team forward then i would have no complaints… In fairness, we could also have a Mike Ashley…a NUFC fan that’s doing wondere for his club!… Kroenke’s son Josh seemed to be more hands on and also a College athlete. His basketball team is doing good and he has… Read more »

Red-Sky

A bargain indeed.
Give him time. He’s a very talent lad.
Now he mostly lacks experience, but he’ll get there.

Dewey

Awesome piece thanks for sharing. Very interesting insights. H/t to the translator

Mutisya

i absolutely love the feel good factor at the club this insights on how decisions are arrived at similar to how Unai explained his Derby half time substitutions are so refreshing to hear the ‘meh’ feeling that i had for the club in the last say 2 years has been completely replaced by electrifying excitement. I am genuinely excited for the future As a sidenote, Stan’s team in the NBA, the Nuggets are flying high in a intensively competitive Western Conference. That team has transformed magnificently with smart purchases that have transformed the organization. My thinking was *MAYBE* he could… Read more »

Arsebjørn

His NFL-team, LA Rams are very good too. They have one of the best head coaches in the NFL in Sean McWay. He’s young and innovative and has turned the Rams into real contenders. They’re a young and competitive, with one of the best cap spaces in the league. And they were one of the laughing stocks in the NFL not too long ago. Hopefully the Arsenal will improve even more in the years to come.

Burn Baby Burn

It’s refreshing to hear this kind of detail come out of the executive team

Leno me, I’ll be your friend

Emery and Mislintat seem to have the potential to be rather similar to the early days of Wenger and Dein. I’d be interested to know how they get along. Fingers crossed they can have a similar impact! ??

Naija Gunner

“three Bayern Munich and there Dotmomd” ???????

DamoDinkum

Not sure that I’d list Liverpool as a Dortmund… has he seen how much they’ve spent?

Ausdrexler

Liverpool may spend some $$ but they dont just throw it around willy nilly whenever they feel like it. They still have to sell to make $$ to buy. And thats the difference between them and the 3 Bayerns referred too. We know MANC and Chelsea have proven track records of throwing money at the best players to ensure thier rivals dont get or have them. And that is exactly what Bayern has done for so long.

Hamburg Gooner

You´re probably only looking at the recent picture, but Liverpool has been throwing money around for fun for ages – remember the last Dalglish era for instance – they´re obviously using their money a bit more properly now due to being not ´that´ desperate anymore and seem to be a lot better now in recruiting players

SB Still

Despite his mistakes due to his inexperience, I still have to be reminded that he is a teenager. No hiding, so eager and playing quite well. In another season or two he will be one of the best, if the thugs in this league don’t put him out long term

Chiza

Mislintat please get us one between monito Vargas(velez sarsfield) and Nicolas pepe(lille)…we badly need a winger this winter

North London is Redder

I think Sven might have his own targets but out of interest, why would you want Vargas? Two career goals and two career assists? Do you scout him personally?

poldimacht

I think he lets EA Sport FIFA do the scouting for him. Personally I haven’t played that awful game in years. It was good back when it was 07. Now it’s just garbage, exploiting a certain overpowered broken mechanism and doing it over and over. It’s like a disease

Deejay

Liverpool just sighed a keeper for 80 mil. I think they might be a “Bayern” as well.

Savage

I wonder if Guendouzi was second choice behind Adli? Will be interesting to compare their career development, especially since Guendouzi probably gets more game time than Adli (I haven’t checked).

Trez

He was. Think he’s the bigger talent. Should’ve joined us if he had sense.

kaius

I think this man might have one of the coolest jobs in world football.

Extremely excited to see who else turns up in the coming transfer windows

Wengerballz

Glad we’re back at the high stakes table with Sven. We too should be able to sell overrated players to Real for 15 gazillion dollars. It’s been painful watching Modric, Bale, Suarez, etc. While we were selling Song, Walcott and the likes.

Reality check

86million to be precise..

Santori

Best bit of business Unai Emery.

Non doubt Gazidis was focusing on his weaknesses too.

Thegere

I think Guendouzi still appears to scurry across the pitch. He’s always ready to receive a pass and does not hide.

Plarsetercarse

fucking fascinating. ““It was an important transfer for us, because we wanted to show the world – we’re still the old Arsenal, which gives opportunities to younger players.” This is so pleasing to hear. And wow, this guy hired Emery? Seems like he’s our most important signing! Guess that bald American bloke who went to Milan (I forget his name) got something right in the end by hiring Mislintat (by law of averages you get something right eventually). And look at Man U spending vastly more than us and floundering for years. It’s gone well since Wenger left; better than… Read more »