With the news of Sven Mislintat departing Arsenal finally official, the north London club will have to fill a significant piece of the puzzle behind the scenes. Mislintat is widely regarded as one of the best scouts in Europe, helping both Borussia Dortmund and the Gunners find exceptional young talent.
Though the German was only at Arsenal for just over a year, he is partially responsible for quality acquisitions like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sokratis, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, and Konstantinos Mavropanos.
As Mislintat departs, the Gunners will have to hire a new head of recruitment. While they are certainly big shoes to fill, Arsenal already have a person at the club that should fit in quite well in this role: Francis Cagigao. A former Arsenal youth player, Cagigao has been a scout with the team for over 20 years now. The London-born former midfielder has spent his recent years in Portugal, scouting youngsters in the Iberian Peninsula.
Cagigao has reportedly played a major role in Arsenal securing the signatures of Lauren, Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Santi Cazorla, and Alexis Sanchez. Not a bad quintet. Following years of success as a scout, Cagigao was upgraded to head of international recruitment by the club. Working alongside Mislintat for the last 13 months, Cagigao surely gained even more valuable experience recruiting young talent.
Arsenal are not the only team that has seen value in Cagigao. It was reported in 2017 that clubs around Europe and South America were after the scout and willing to promote him even further. In fact, a top six club in Spain was supposedly targeting Cagigao to be their director of football as well.
A potential promotion for Cagigao at Arsenal would also make sense due to the current Spanish ties at the club. Head of football Raul Sanllehi and head coach Unai Emery are both from Spain, while Cagigao is extremely familiar with La Liga, as he has spent years scouting there.
Losing Mislintat is obviously a big blow to Arsenal. The German was very successful at the club, despite his short stay. However, Cagigao is certainly qualified to help fill the Sven void and would be an easy choice to make the step up to becoming the team’s new head of overall recruitment. His track record and loyalty to the Gunners clearly speaks for itself.
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