On Tuesday, Arsenal appointed former midfielder Edu as their new technical director. The 41-year-old had been linked with a return to north London earlier this year.
However, he stated he wanted to concentrate his attention on his role as the sporting director of the Brazilian national team, a role he has enjoyed since 2016, until after the Copa America. On Sunday, the Selecao won ended their 12-year trophy drought with a 3-1 win over Peru. The Brazilian must have felt he had done his job with the national side, so could move on.
Arsenal needed a sporting director
Arsenal have been looking for a new sporting/technical director since the departure of former Dortmund transfer supremo Sven Mislintat in February. The German’s departure was due to a clash with the club’s hierarchy over boss Unai Emery’s power when it came to transfers.
The Gunners had reportedly approached a number of candidates for the role, including highly-rated Spaniard Monchi, who decided to return to former club Sevilla earlier this year. Edu has history with the Gunners, though, having spent four-and-half years in north London, winning two Premier League titles, as well as two FA Cups. He also played under Emery at Valencia, so there should be less conflict than with Mislintat.
Reportedly have a limited transfer budget
One of the most important roles that Edu will play is in the signing of new players. This role could be absolutely crucial for the potential future success for the Gunners. Arsenal’s squad needs a revamp, with a number of players having already departed on free transfers. The Arsenal squad is also ageing and in need of major additions in a number of positions.
However, reportedly the Gunners only have a limited transfer budget. Some reports suggest that the budget could be as low as £45million. To put that into perspective mid-table Leicester have just spend £40million on one player in the shape of Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans.
A popular Sky Sports reporter recently made a good point, about maybe Arsenal liking other clubs believing they only have a small transfer budget. There may be some truth in that theory. However, the fact that the Gunners are believed to have failed in bids for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha seems to suggest that they do not have great resources this summer.
The only signing the Gunners have made is of a promising young Brazilian striker called Gabriel Martinelli. Reports suggest that Edu played a part in the deal. The youngster may prove to be a success in the future, but he is not the sort signing that Arsenal fans were hoping for this summer.
Gunners need signings for a top-four challenge
Arsenal made some progress towards finishing in the Premier League’s top-four last season. The Gunners finished just a point outside the Champions League spots. However, the team from north London head into the new season as outsiders for the top-four. Edu has his work cut out at Arsenal. He has a difficult and thankless job in north London. Only time will tell if the Brazilian is the right man to push Arsenal back into Europe’s elite competition.
Is Edu a good appointment as Arsenal’s sporting director?