Arsenal technical director Edu has offered a revealing insight into the club’s transfer strategy, which saw six players arrive this summer at an outlay of more than £150m
There are many things to be critical of when it comes to Arsenal. But a lack of transparency when it comes to transfers certainly isn’t one of them.
Following a window which saw the Gunners completely revamp their playing squad, spending more than £150million, technical director Edu has offered a fascinating insight into the club’s strategy.
Despite that huge outlay, fans are concerned at the profile of players arriving, with Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard the three likely to have a massive impact on the first XI.
Aaron Ramsdale, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga meanwhile are players signed with eye on the future.
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But with the present looking so bleak – Arsenal are bottom of the Premier League table after three games – Edu and manager Mikel Arteta’s policy has come under fire.
Edu believes the signings are in order to lay foundations for future success, supplemented by a core of senior “leaders” already at the club.
“I am just trying to explain the strategy behind it because when people see just one window, of course they see it like this,” he told Sky Sports in a revealing interview.
“I respect that. But you have to see what we started to do since we’ve been together. We’ve tried to clean the squad.
“I don’t want to be repetitive, but it is true. How are you going to create a solid foundation? And then you say okay, but they are young.
“They are young but we have five senior players in the squad and in the first XI in Bernd Leno, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“Around those five we have very, very good, talented players around them which we believe in.
“Maybe people don’t, but we believe five guys can lead the team with the youngsters and with the new signings to go to the next step.”
However, a closer look at that leadership committee and Arsenal’s current predicament appears a little clearer.
Alexandre Lacazette and Bernd Leno both have just one year remaining on their current contracts.
The duo had been extensively linked with summer exits, likely only remaining with the club because of a lack of suitors.
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Leno’s replacement is already at the club in Ramsdale, while Lacazette’s appeared to be on the radar this summer.
The chances of either signing a new contract next summer look unlikely, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future is also uncertain.
As for Granit Xhaka, it looked almost inevitable he would depart, meaning his ascension back to “leader” has been a worryingly swift one.
Edu has told fans to trust the process and judge them on their results. But their shaky core hints at further wholesale changes in the very near future.