VfB Stuttgart chief Sven Mislintat has defended is transfer record at Arsenal.
Only two of those signings – namely Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bernd Leno – are part of the club’s first-team squad this season.
But Mislintat told the Athletic: “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.
“They were my players but because they were Arsenal players and capable ones. They turned up. The team went unbeaten in 22 games in all competitions, made it to the Europa League final and finished fifth with 70 points.
“You can say that’s not good enough. But many teams would love to finish fifth now. I felt that we were on the right track and I would have enjoyed the opportunity to develop further at Arsenal.”
Sven Mislintat also insists Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has huge potential.
Mislintat has defended his record of signings at Arsenal – in particular Guendouzi, now on-loan with Hertha Berlin – and believes they were good enough, despite the subsequent failure of six of those transfers.
“If you’re not playing Matteo in midfield, it must be a very strong midfield,” Mislintat told the Athletic. “As a teenager from Ligue 2, he played 48 games for Arsenal in his first season.
“I assure you, you are not able to ‘survive’ that amount of Premier League caps playing ‘adolescent football’.
“He obviously doesn’t get everything right but he plays with a decisiveness and quality that make him an extraordinary player. We want players who are brave on the ball, who can move past the pressure. Losing the odd ball is part of that.
“You shouldn’t try to change his game but work on the details to improve him, if you are able to do so, you make him a ‘monster’ midfielder. My personal opinion remains that Matteo would still add some extra qualities to Arsenal’s midfield.”