The £103m loss Arsenal have made on the 8 players Mislintat signed

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Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring their third goal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan during their match with FC Vorskla Poltava at Emirates Stadium, London, September 2018.

Arsenal‘s transfer dealings have been praised under Mikel Arteta but it hasn’t always been this way at the Emirates – as this list of players signed by Sven Mislintat demonstrates.

Mislintat was the head of Arsenal’s recruitment from December 2017 to February 2019 and signed eight players during that time.

While the former Borussia Dortmund head scout was only at Arsenal for a little over a year, he spanned one of the most important periods of the team’s evolution, arriving in Arsene Wenger’s final season and helping oversee Unai Emery’s first few months in charge.

Mislintat has since departed Arsenal, and, while many have criticised his transfer dealings, he staunchly defended all of his transfers in an interview with The Athletic in 2021.

“To be quite clear: I don’t feel ashamed of any of those transfers, on the contrary, I will always defend these guys. Not because they were my players but because they were Arsenal players and capable ones,” he proclaimed.

But we’ve looked at the eight players Mislintat signed and subsequently sold for less than they were bought for during his time at the Emirates.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Aubameyang cost Arsenal £56million from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and scored 92 goals in 163 appearances for the Gunners.

But his form dipped significantly during his latter months at the Emirates and, after falling out with Mikel Arteta and being stripped of the captaincy, the Gabon international was allowed to join Barcelona for free in January 2022.

Arsenal will argue that Aubameyang’s goals were worth the money but it’s still a £56million loss on the balance sheet.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang applauds the fans after Arsenal's win over Watford, Emirates Stadium, November 2021

READ: Ranking every Arsenal striker since Thierry Henry signed for Barcelona

Dinos Mavropanos

Costing only £2million in January 2018, Mavropanos made just eight appearances for Arsenal before being sent on loan to Stuttgart.

The Greece international has now made a permanent move to Germany following their successful battle against relegation from the Bundesliga last season.

Arsenal received around £3.5million for the defender, making him one of two Milslintat signings they’ve turned a profit on.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan’s move to Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez joining Manchester United in return, must go down as one of the worst swap deals in football history.

Across a little over 18 months at the club, the midfielder provided just eight goals and eight assists in 39 league appearances.

Given his hefty wage, it was an underwhelming return and Mkhitaryan was allowed to join Roma on a free transfer.

Mislintat defended the signing, telling The Athletic: “Henrikh Mkhitaryan? A swap deal with Alexis Sanchez, a player that would hold no residual value for the club a few days later. Miki was more than a good deal for the squad and for the accounts.

“On top of it, you gain a player who speaks seven languages and connects with everyone in the dressing room, important in that moment. He’s a top pro and an outstanding person. He leads by example, worked really hard. He led players like Matteo [Guendouzi].

“People underestimate him, I will never do that.”

Bernd Leno

Having signed for £22.5million, Leno quickly displaced Cech as Arsenal’s starting goalkeeper and was the runner-up for the Arsenal Player of the Season award in 2019–20.

But he was relegated to the bench last season after Aaron Ramsdale’s arrival and looks likely to leave the Emirates this summer, with Fulham reportedly agreeing an £8million fee for the 30-year-old.

Leno is far from the worst signing on this list but his departure would still represent a £14.5million loss for Arsenal.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

After being deemed surplus to requirements by Arteta, Sokratis had his contract was cancelled by mutual consent and joined Olympiacos in January 2021.

It was an early sign that Arsenal would accept losses on previous signings to give Arteta the best opportunity to make the squad his own; Sokratis had cost £17.6million in the summer of 2018.

“Sokratis? He was there to add something to the group: that kind of aggression, his winning mentality, getting your teeth into the game, winning without playing beautiful,” Mislintat said.

“Not to forget, he was a perfect mentor for Dinos [Mavropanos].”

Lucas Torreira

Initially popular for his full-blooded performances and wonderful goal against Spurs, Torreira’s performances dipped after he was asked to play in a more advanced role.

After spending the past two seasons out on loan at Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina, the Uruguay international looks set to join Galatasaray for a £5.8million fee.

It means Arsenal will make a £20.2million loss on Torreira, having bought him for £26million from Sampdoria in 2018.

Matteo Guendouzi

While his talent has never in question, Guendouzi was banished from the Arsenal set-up by Arteta following a clash with Neal Maupay during a 2-1 reverse at Brighton in 2020.

The midfielder has spent the previous two years out on loan, at Hertha Berlin and Marseille respectively, and joined the latter for a £9million fee this summer.

Guendouzi’s move ensured Arsenal made a £2million profit on the player.

Matteo Guendouzi of Marseille celebrates with Cengiz Under after a goal against Montpellier, Stade Velodrome, April 2022

READ: Guendouzi’s chaos-assist was pure syrup of a talent Arsenal didn’t tame

Stephan Lichtsteiner

“Cech and Lichtsteiner are prototypes of winners,” Mislintat boldly proclaimed. “They improve your whole team with their mindsets, just being in the dressing room.

“That’s why we added Stephan. He played 23 games in all competitions, he was meant as a back-up and came on a free. Tactically, he’s one of the best full-backs ever.”

Came on a free, left on a free. This deal didn’t hurt the balance sheet too much, although Arsenal fans are still recovering from viewing some of Lichtsteiner’s attempts at sprinting.

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