Sven Mislintat: Who is the Dortmund chief scout linked with Arsenal?

Sven Mislintat: Who is the Dortmund chief scout linked with Arsenal?
From ESPN - November 15, 2017

Borussia Dortmund chief scout Sven Mislintat has been linked with a move to the Premier League with Arsenal.

Sources have told ESPN FC that the man credited with bringing Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele to the Westfalenstadion has held talks about taking a similar role with the Gunners.

ESPN FC brings you all you need to know about the 45-year-old German transfer guru.

He worked with Jose Mourinho's assistant in the fourth tier

Mislintat played for his local club, VfL Kamen until he was 29, and was already acting as an assistant coach during the final years of his amateur career. In 2002, he "only wanted to be a coach and no longer a player" and took a role at Westfalia Herne, then playing in the Oberliga Westfalen, the regional fourth division in Germany at that time.

Already working as a young analyst in professional football, Mislintat was made the assistant coach of incoming boss Jose Morais, who was 37. The latter, leaving Portugal for a journey which would take him all the way to Yemen before becoming a member of Jose Mourinho's coaching staff, lasted only six games. Mislinat hung around for a bit longer, but in December 2002 also left.

Westfalia were relegated, and many years later Morais and Mislintat met again in the Champions League in 2012-13, when Dortmund and Real Madrid began their recent run of clashes in the competition. "For a long time, I was not sure whether he's really Mourinho's assistant. It's quite a common name," the BVB head of professional football said in 2013.

Signing Kagawa was a key moment

Mislintat's breakthrough moment as a scout came at a time when Dortmund were nowhere near the club they are now. They did not even have the funds to make signings for 10 million, were reliant on their scouting, and made one of their best transfers when bringing in a young attacking midfielder from Japan.

In 2010, 21-year-old Shinji Kagawa joined Dortmund from Cerezo Osaka. Dortmund had been tipped off by a friendly agent, Thomas Kroth, a 1989 cup winner with BVB, and the club knew they could do no wrong.

"We were in Japan six times, did 10 to 15 pieces of video analysis just from that player, and completely scanned them," Mislintat said during one of his rare public appearances in late 2012. "And once we completed our job, we were convinced that he's a lad we can use, especially for this price."

Kagawa signed for Dortmund for just 350,000 and left for Manchester United for around 16m two summers later as a back-to-back Bundesliga champion and a domestic double winner.

"The key player for my career as a scout was Shinji Kagawa," Mislintat said earlier this year. "When you find a young player in a second division and he joins for small money and can make the difference: That's a key moment everyone needs in his career."

He has been chased by German clubs for years


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