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Arsenal's big December signing influences pursuit of Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang

Sven Mislintat spent a decade at Borussia Dortmund before taking up a role as head of recruitment with Arsene Wenger’s side.

Image: Elmar Kremser/SVEN SIMON

IT MAY HAVE slipped through the cracks earlier in the season but there have been substantial changes behind-the-scenes at Arsenal.

One notable appointment saw Sven Mislintat arrive from Borussia Dortmund as the club’s new head of recruitment in December, replacing Steve Rowley.

Having spent a decade with the Bundesliga club, the 45-year-old was highly-regarded, having been responsible for Dortmund’s ability to pick up young, gifted players and sell them on for a huge profit.

Examples included Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Upon the confirmation of his hiring, Arsene Wenger complimented Mislintat’s ‘outstanding track record’ regarding recruitment.

So, given his background, it’s easy to see why the north London side are being heavily linked with Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, another player Mislintat sourced and brought to Dortmund.

Certainly, Arsenal were keen on the Armenian before he ended up at Old Trafford but owing to his recent struggles under Jose Mourinho, it was, perhaps, understandable for Wenger to question whether Mkhitaryan would experience something similar at the Emirates.

But, with Mislintat on board, he can provide a greater profile of the 28-year-old attacker and also offer an insight into Mkhitaryan’s issues at Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp, with whom he spent two inconsistent campaigns.

It wasn’t until Thomas Tuchel came in as manager did he find his stride and begin to blossom.

Regarding Aubameyang, he’s had to face criticism over his attitude and being a disruptive influence at the German club in recent weeks.

He’s been left out of Dortmund’s last two games because of disciplinary issues and the club’s GM Michael Zorc has admitted that he ‘doesn’t recognise’ the striker anymore.

Still, according to the latest reports, Wenger has leaned on Mislintat to give a more rounded profile of the 28-year-old and he’s subsequently acknowledged the behaviour is the exception rather than the rule.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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