Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat had proposed the signing of Konstantinos Mavropanos which led to the Gunners completing a deal for the young Greek defender.
Mislintat took up the role vacated by former chief of scouting Steve Rowley at the Emirates and is among the 10 backroom changes that have taken place over the course of the season. The 45-year-old, previously at Borussia Dortmund, has been credited with helping the club land the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Shinji Kagawa, Mats Hummels and Ousmane Dembele among others.
Another big appointment at the Emirates is the arrival of former Barcelona director of football Raul Sanllehi as their new head of football relations. He will take over his role at the club on 1 February after the January transfer window.
Sanllehi has played a central role in conducting transfers at Barcelona across the last decade and was especially active in the recruitment of players from South America – most significantly the deal that saw the Catalans beat Real Madrid to the signing of Neymar in 2013.
The Gunners will be hoping that both both new recruits will be able to streamline their transfer process and make the best out of their budget amid competition from other big hitters in the league. Mislintat seems to have already played his magic, proposing the signing of Mavropanos for a cut-price deal.
Asked whether Mislintat had identified Mavropanos, Wenger said, as quoted by the Independent: "yes".
"We talk," Wenger said on what he expects from his new recruits. "We know the players. We know. It's not that we discover, we know every single player in Europe before Sven arrived. Sometimes, in a little club in Germany, he might know somebody we might ignore."
"He [Raul] starts only on the 1 February," Wenger added. "Look, it is important to find a new balance. For them, it's more difficult than for me, because they have to adapt to a new environment, they discover suddenly a different structure and overall that is... at the moment it's a bit new and unusual because it's an important period but we are not used to work together."