Arsenal’s transfer policy may be governed by Raul Sanllehi’s contact book after Sven Mislintat’s exit

Sven Mislintat & Arsenal

It’s yet to be confirmed by the Gunners, but everyone now believes that Sven Mislintat is poised to leave Arsenal.

Mislintat joined the Gunners to be the head of recruitment.

During his time at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal have made some solid-looking additions.

They include the arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lucas Torreira and Mattéo Guendouzi.

Other signings, like Sokratis, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Bernd Leno have been more questionable.

Raul Sanllehi’s influence at Arsenal

As we wait for Arsenal to confirm Mislintat’s exit, the analysis has started as to why this move is happening.

The German is reportedly leaving the Gunners because of his job prospects at the club. According to the Guardian:

Since Gazidis departed to join Milan and handed over to a new internal management scheme led by the director of football, Raul Sanllehi, and the managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, Mislintat’s chances of becoming technical director have diminished.

Rather than falling out with Unai Emery or the Kroenke family, it’s believed Mislintat’s biggest issues at Arsenal were with Raul Sanllehi.

Sanllehi, the club’s Director of Football, joined the Gunners from Barcelona.

As confirmed by Rafa Honingstein, Sanllehi and Mislintat have different takes on how Arsenal should consider transfers:

(Sanllehi) favoured a recruitment policy based on his extensive network of contacts throughout Europe, while Mislintat had been tasked by Gazidis to follow the kind of analytical and stats-based approach.

Arsenal’s recruitment policy

Will Arsenal make any signings this January?

That’s doubtful after Emery recently said the club have no money for new additions.

Should Arsenal bring in any players, they’ll have to arrive on loan deals.

The BBC’s David Ornstein has considered how Arsenal’s issues in the transfer market affected Mislintat:

Although there has not been a major breakdown in relations with Mislintat, Arsenal’s lack of money to spend in the January transfer window has also caused issues.

Sources have noted that Sanllehi’s approach towards recruitment centres on his vast network of contacts, whereas Mislintat tends to favour a more analytics-based approach.

What does this mean for the Gunners?

Mislintat’s imminent exit from Arsenal signals a cause for concern for Arsenal fans.

The sense is that Sanllehi, and his rolodex of ‘contacts’, is the way in which Arsenal will make transfer decisions moving forward.

Arseblog has summed up the fear for Gooners of Sanllehi’s increased influence at the club:

What is the strategy for recruitment now? Is it down to Sanllehi(?)

He’s also not a scout, not someone who can spot talent, unearth those rough diamonds. He’s a businessman who has worked in football for years, so who is going to find the players? Sanllehi’s contact book? 

I genuinely hope that (Sanllehi’s) good at his job, because he’s going to need to be.

Raul Sanllehi & social media reaction

Also see: Arsenal vs Chelsea: Jose Mourinho’s £60,000 pundit job, but no Man United talk.

Chelsea to offer Arsenal’s Petr Cech a job.

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