Arsene Wenger appears to have aimed another dig at Arsenal’s new head scout Sven Mislintat, claiming the ex-Dortmund recruiter provides little more than knowledge of small, German clubs.
It’s starting to look more and more as if Arsenal’s backroom shake-up hasn’t been given Wenger’s full blessing. According to Bild, who cite Football London, the boss claims Sven has a knowledge of the lower German leagues, and brings no other knowledge that Arsenal didn’t already have.
“We knew every player in Europe, even before Sven came to us,” Wenger said. “Sometimes in a little club in Germany, he might know somebody that we might ignore.”
The comments sound very harsh considering Mislintat is the man credited with unearthing such gems as Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele.
After Arsenal’s embarrassing 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday, Wenger was asked about whether the Gunners are any closer to making any January signings. The boss replied that the club had already signed a ‘Greek boy’, a.k.a. Konstantinos Mavropanos.
“No. I can’t give you any news on any transfer because we are not close to signing anyone,” he said. “We signed a Greek boy, who looks quite good in training. But apart from that we are not on anything.”
Wenger’s tone seemed flippant and borderline disrespectful. It also made it very clear that the Frenchman had nothing to do with signing the 20-year-old from PAS Giannina last week – as was suspected.
Arsenal’s new head scout has links with the Greek market and found Argiris Kampetsis from Olympiakos for Dortmund last summer. When asked if Mavropanos was Sven’s signing, Wenger simply replied: “Yes.”
The Frenchman has also admitted that there are some teething problems with the Gunners’ new scouting system. “It is important to find a new balance,” he said.
“For them it is more difficult than me because they have to adapt to a new environment, a different structure. Overall, at the moment it is a bit new and unusual. It is an important period but we are not used to working together.”
While at first many assumed that Wenger was on board with all the changes going on behind the scenes at Arsenal, it now seems as if this isn’t the case at all…