Arsenal went against the advice of their chief scout when they signed Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia and Lucas Pérez from Deportivo La Coruña in 2016.
The Gunners paid £17 million to Deportivo for Pérez, and £35 million to Valencia for Mustafi, but neither have provided to be good investments. Pérez played just 11 games for the Gunners before he was lent back to Deportivo, and later sold to West Ham.
Mustafi has acquired a reputation for making high profile defensive blunders and for going to ground too easily. The Gunners tried to sell him last summer but could find no takers, and, although he has enjoyed something of rehabilitation under Mikel Arteta, he is not thought to form part of his long-term plans.
And now Francis Cagiogao, Arsenal’s chief scout at the time, has revealed that he specifically advised against signing both players.
Given the price paid and the poor return on that investment, the club’s fans will be wish that his advice had been heeded.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.