Via Sport (es) in Spain comes news that Arsenal have appointed Toni Lima to the scouting department.

The Barcelona born former Andorran international joins from La Liga side Alaves, and has previously worked with Manchester United and Inter Milan – where he was their main man in Brazil.

Lima is credited with talent spotting the likes of Philippe Coutinho (who he brought to Inter), and Neymar (although that was probably an easy spot, in fairness).

He was in charge of international scouting at Alaves, but the report suggests he’ll be responsible for the Gunners scouting in Spain – a role previously carried out by Francis Cagigao whose work in the past brought us players like Cesc Fabregas, Lauren, Santi Cazorla, and Nacho Monreal.

As the pandemic hit last year, Arsenal did away with a large part of their scouting network, but earlier this year brought on board a recruitment to headhunt new hires.

Obviously it takes time to see how effective the work of any one scout can be, but if his experience can augment the reported data-led approach to finding new players, perhaps he can unearth a gem or two on the Iberian peninsula.

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