By Joe Harker
Sven Mislintat is Arsenal's head of recruitment, formerly of Borussia Dortmund and brought in by the Gunners as part of their attempt to revamp the backroom structure as Arsene Wenger was being ushered out of the door. Wenger used to do almost everything himself, most clubs now have other people in place for duties once considered the remit of an all powerful manager. Mislintat was considered a shrewd appointment, having overseen an impressive transfer strategy at Dortmund where promising talents were identified and in many cases sold on for a large profit.
So why is The Independent reporting that he's considering accepting an offer from Bayern Munich after a "breakdown in relationship"?
It's no surprise that Bayern, a club with an ageing squad in some areas that could do with some smart recruitment over the next few transfer windows, would want Mislintat. More concerning for Arsenal is the expectation that the German club will be able to pinch their head of recruitment at the end of the season.
Mislintat is reportedly considering leaving due to "backroom uncertainty", some of his recommendations for transfer targets have not been followed up on, with manager Unai Emery taking a more active hand in identifying players to buy than expected. Mislintat thought he was going to be part of a structure where the manager would be little more than a head coach.
Appointed in 2017, Mislintat was hired as the early stage of backroom restructuring to prepare for the departure of Wenger. He eventually wanted to become technical director at the club, though Wenger dismissed the idea while he was manager and director of football Raul Sanllehi has reduced those chances even further.
The club are looking to hire a technical director rather than promote Mislintat, which he feels would give him less of a say in transfer dealings and reduce his role to that of a glorified scout. Arsenal are reportedly looking to appoint former midfielder Edu as technical director and Mislintat is growing ever more unhappy over "unfulfilled promises".
Known as one of the most impressive figures in Europe for identifying and recruiting talented players, Mislintat was supposed to be the jewel in the crown of Arsenal's modern structure. Instead he feels his role is becoming increasingly reduced by people appointed after he was brought onto the project to modernise Arsenal.
Perhaps it is time for Mislintat to move on. Arsenal may be unable to sign the players he identifies, particularly as Emery recently said any January signings the club might make will have to be loan signings. Arsenal seem not to be flush with transfer funds at the moment. With his role being reduced and a lack of money to sign his targets it might be time for Arsenal's head of recruitment to move on.