Arsenal signed Matteo Guendouzi to show young players can thrive - Sven Mislintat
Arsenal head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has said the signing of Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient has proved that young players have the chance to shine at the Emirates.
Teenage midfielder Guendouzi, who arrived for £7 million, has made 19 competitive appearances, 13 of them starts, this season.
"I saw him play Lorient when they were still in Ligue 1," Mislintat told German weekly Die Zeit. "I like that club, you always find interesting players there.
"For us, the transfer of this then 18-year-old was important to show the world that we are the old Arsenal again. Young players will get their chance to shine here.
"Guendouzi immediately attracted attention with his long hair and his personality. But I was also interested in the weaknesses. Can you take corrective action?
"Matteo was inexpediently running across the pitch, but it was clear to me that this was only a matter of training and there was time to break this habit."
Mislintat, nicknamed "Diamond Eye" during his time at Borussia Dortmund, left his role as head scout at his hometown club to join Arsenal late last year.
In the summer, the Gunners invested around £70m in new players with a focus on defensive stability following the appointment of Unai Emery as successor to Arsene Wenger.
"We held long and intense talks with candidates when looking for someone to replace Arsene Wenger, and I was the one to lead the football-specific discussions," Mislintat said.
"I watched five, six matches from each of the potential candidates, and had to think my way into their work routine -- which system does he play?
"As a part of a group, I shared responsibility for the appointment of Unai Emery. Head of recruitment means not only identifying talents but also signing them."