Report: Arsenal to Focus on Scouting Overseas Targets in Next 2 Transfer Windows

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Lucas Torreira of Arsenal replaces Matteo Guendouzi of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on August 25, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal will reportedly turn to transfer targets from overseas in the next two transfer windows, with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat said to have been shocked by the cost of homegrown players. 

Per Sami Mokbel of the MailOnline, “Arsenal have been offered two premium homegrown players in recent months—but both times the Gunners have gawped at the price.” As such, the focus of the team’s scouting network is now poised to be on foreign acquisitions.

Rob Holding is the last British player to have joined the club, having made the switch to north London from Bolton Wanderers in 2016.      

Mokbel added Arsenal have been tracking Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney recently, but the cost of any potential deal for the player is said to have cast doubts over any pursuit.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11:  Tom Cairney of Fulham in action during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage on August 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

“Finances are tight at the Emirates Stadium following two seasons outside of the Champions League, and the club are concerned the price placed on homegrown stars does not offer the club best value,” added Mokbel.

There were signs of this process coming into effect in the summer, as Arsenal brought in players from across European football.

While the club spent money on Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Mateo Guendouzi this summer the transfers were relatively inexpensive when compared to some of their rivals.

Guendouzi, who arrived from Lorient, appears to be an indication of the good work being done by Arsenal’s scouting setup as the young midfielder has shown he can make an immediate impact in the Premier League.

Per Scouted Football, he and Torreira have been key performers at the hub of the team for Unai Emery’s side:

Arsenal restructured their recruitment strategy during the previous campaign, which was Arsene Wenger’s final season as manager.

Mislintat arrived from Borussia Dortmund in November and immediately made his mark in the January window with the acquisitions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, two ex-BVB players. 

The former of that pair, in particular, looks to have been an inspired purchase:

Also in November last year Raul Sanllehi was appointed to work alongside Mislintat as head of football relations. Then chief executive Ivan Gazidis noted the former Barcelona man “has been directly involved in some of the biggest transfers in Europe in recent years,” per the club’s official website.

While Arsenal may not be in the hunt for England’s brightest rising stars for the foreseeable future, based on the evidence so far, they will continue to do savvy work in the transfer market thanks to Mislintat and Sanllehi regardless.

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