Monday, June 17, 2024

Edu opens up on Arsenal’s transfer policy, explains player pay offs

Arsenal may have signed five players this summer but technical director Edu insists the club are keeping a close eye on the transfer market in case other opportunities arise.

After the weekend win over Chelsea in Florida, manager Mikel Arteta referenced the possibility of further ‘ins’ before September but was clear as well that he needs to trim the fat from his squad having amassed a senior squad of 33 players.

“I think we have to be prepared for every situation,” Edu told Sky Sports.

“We still feel the transfer window is open and the most important thing is to be prepared for everything, every scenario, because opportunities can happen.

“Clubs can approach us, players probably want to go on loan, so there’s still lots to do, but again, being prepared for me is the most important [thing] and for sure we are very much prepared for almost everything.”

While admitting the process of selling players is easier said than done, Edu promises to be straight with those who aren’t part of the manager’s plan.

“No [it’s not easy], but it’s a part of our job to try to create some opportunities for the players,” he said.

“I think the most important thing is to make the player understand why he is here or why he needs to go, and then we have to create some possibilities with the player’s agents and try to find the best solution possible for the player.

“As soon as you give to them a clear idea of what you want to do, it helps the situation. It’s a challenge because you have to find clubs, situations and loans. But again, if you can be direct to the player in a very respectful way, that helps a little bit to make the best decision.”

While player churn is nothing new in football, the concerted effort to reshape Arsenal’s squad to Arteta’s liking has seen a huge number of players leave the club.

In some instances – Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, Sead Kolasinac – they’ve been paid to find a new home. After years of studiously balancing the books under Arsene Wenger, it’s a policy that has often left supporters scratching their heads.

In a separate interview with The Athletic (£), Edu explained the thinking behind such drastic action.

“Try to avoid one more year with the problem inside, in the dressing room, expensive, not performing. Clean, take it out. Even, I’m sorry, if you have to pay. To leave is better. Because that guy is sometimes also blocking someone.

“I know it hurts, I know it’s strange when I go to the board and say, ‘Sometimes it’s better to pay a player to leave than maintain them’. But I consider it an investment. Sometimes people say, ‘It’s expensive’. I say, ‘No, it’s investment’. But someone will pay if you sell? No, guys — if the player is above 26, 27 and not performing, big salary, no chance.”

If we’re to believe Edu, we’re halfway through a five-year plan that he presented to the board ahead of Arteta’s appointment as manager. After a difficult period of laying stronger foundations, things, in theory, should start to improve.

“I said to Mikel and to the board: ‘Guys, 2022-23 will be the season we’re going to be much better. We have to be patient… It would be impossible to take everyone out and put everyone in, we need a process to do that. We need good decisions, we need to be brave, we’re going to (face) some difficult moments with players, agents, etc. But that’s the plan’.”


It’s well worth watching the interview with Sky Sports and, if you have a subscription, reading Gunnerblog’s full interview with Edu (and analysis) in The Athletic

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I’m impressed. Bright bloke, clear plan, good execution, totally different vibe at the club.
When Arteta joined only Saka and Xgaka were in his first team of next seasons squad and there were lots of older players seeing their contracts out. Now the ages has dropped a lot, there is a lot of desire to achieve.
Well done Edu and Arteta, hope is returning!


Let’s recognize that the Kroenkes have made Edu’s moves possible by stumping up the cash. They got burned by Sanllehi but here they are dishing out more money for quality players and paying off former stars to make room for them. Recent profit/loss statements show that Stan and Josh are willing to take a financial hit now for a shot at major success years down the road. I’ve criticized KSE harshly in the past, but they’re giving Edu and Arteta what they want and staying out of their way. This is the sort of ownership we’ve been asking for, and… Read more »


I’m loving what the club are trying to do but … My concern is that this is being financed by debt loaded on the club. We don’t get to see the books, but I doubt the Kroenkes are paying this out of their own pocket.


I don’t think it should matter all that much how KSE characterizes its investments in the club for its own financial and tax planning purposes.

Brady’s bunch

Progress of sorts I’d say. Looks like they are saddling the club with debt rather than putting money into the club which is not ideal. So the hope now is that the team can kick on and be more successful/sustainable to pay it off.

Jenas Wright Martin Mour

I was searching for the link to the above-mentioned interview but instead found the link to the interview Edu gave to Skysport last year, just right after we lost our first 3 league matches. Thought it was an interesting read given what had transpired since,.. and I tot I share it here…


The truth. Wow.


Man is giving us a proper education.

Oleg's Horse

An EDUcation?


I really didn’t see this coming from Edu, especially after the Sanllehi tenure. Happy to see the change.


We know we are on a clean up for poor transfer decisions over the last 4 years or so, mainly from people not at the club currently. For sure, you can see the differences at the club now. But although the club seems a more vibrant, happier place to be, time will tell if this transitions to success in the pitch too….but with the amount of class younger players we have, I hope they achieve and win things with us, would make every gooner that much happier that we won it with the squad that we have 🙂

Man Manny

There are very few guarantees in life. All that is needed is what they have done: hatch a clear plan, commit to it, and give it your best shot. When you do that, you can sleep easy with the outcome. But I fully expect Arsenal to challenge for things regularly in the very near future. In Martinelli, Jesus and Saka, we have a front three that smells goals. Ødegaard, Vieira, Partey, Xhaka, Elneny, Lokonga and Tielemans (if he signs), provide a credible midfield behind them. In Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko and Tierney, we have a defence that will… Read more »

Pete Plum

Very well said. Its sticking to a long term plan which has got us here.


Smith-Rowe absent…


I think he comes across very well here and it’s hard not to see the logic in his argument. Also it is important to remember a lot of these situations were ones he inherited (minus the aubmeyang contract). Let’s not also forget that his first year at the club was under “Don Raul” where Edu certainly would have been the junior guy. Think it’s harsh to chalk up mistakes made during that time to Edu – imagine if we all got blamed every time our boss at worked fucked up! Think he’s doing a v good job and his selling… Read more »


I would argue that extending Auba was not that bad at the time.
Keeping your star player created an atmosphere of confidence.
Would Partey have signed if Auba had left that summer? We would look like sinking ship.
And I don’t wanna go into fans reaction if he had left then.


You still have to make the best out of what you have, there is a balance to it and they’re trying to do that. Split the difference kind of thing, for example, Bellerin will have a valuation of £15m, but club only wants to pay £11m, we should be able to settle for £13m. It’s a fine art of maintaining our respect levels in the market.

Ponsonby Gooner

Sounds to me like we’ve had to pay money on top of whatever we owe on their contracts. 😬


No we didn’t. If a player was lucky, he got what remained on his contract and thats all.


I would assume that there’s been a discount, as the player will be able to get another employment on a free transfer


I’m becoming ever more impressed with Edu and how he operates. Obviously he has the trust of the owners, and despite the bad press they’re no mugs when it comes to the business side of sport. He’s obviously a very bright guy and has the charisma and playing background to be able to communicate with players and agents. I feel lucky to have him at our club.

Teryima Adi

We trust the process. There’s time to plant and time to reap. We shall surely reap success as sure as day and night.


It’s been messy at times and not every decision has been a cracker but generally the ‘process’ has been the only answer to how much of a mess we were in, maybe we’ll find out how bad it really was a few years down the line.

Arsene's Smirk

The Sky Sports interview is region/walled and my VPN isnt working either.
Edu seems to really have a knack for 4D chess. I’d like to think he knew United would come calling for LM and played them in!


Very impressed with the skills of upward management that Arteta and Edu are demonstrating. Very inspiring for anyone who has to lead change management in an organisation.


I like this. Upfront and transparent to us about a clear strategy, he did it last year. Gazidis never did this, probably just hid behind Wenger on account of the sentiment.

It shows accountability and I appreciate it.


In fairness, though – Gazidis did get us Raul… his final legacy – twunt!


For those who don’t already know this, a ‘twunt’ seamlessly combines the worst qualities of a twat and a cunt: Mike Dean, Harry Kane, Danny Mills, Graham Souness… if you want examples.

Man Manny

The most interesting bit for me is the target of getting into the Champions League in 22/23 season. Like America’s plan to put a man on the moon by 1970 and making it a year earlier, we narrowly missed doing same last season with the CL. Now I know we’ll make it this season. The one about Emery and the lack of a strategic plan got me thinking. You wonder how much of that was down to Emery seeing his powers were limited. For example, he wanted Zaha but got Pepe. Compare that with what we have now: a plan… Read more »


Edu’s a proper club legend. Reshaping the squad, and our entire scouting network, has us in the best shape we’ve been in for years


Great interview, nice to see clear and concise plan. I wonder would Leicester have any interest in ANM ? The liked him before and be good move for him . Youri Tiels to us be some midfield boost . Looks to be a few departures this week with a few after Mari, Torerria gaining interest, surely someone’s going to come in for Leno ( he’s superb value at 10 Mill and still as good as keeper in the EFL outside the top drawers) I’d have thought he be a great signing for newcastle but they went for Pope I would… Read more »


Am I correct in thinking Edu pushed for Arteta as the head coach too? Like, both times?


Well, he wasn’t at the club when the decision to appoint Emery was made.


yes thanks! I checked this myself too aggressive stuff… “Arsenal should not be building to just fight for fourth. A club of our size cannot accept that. “That’s what really hurt when I returned three years ago. I was asking, ‘What’s happening here? Everybody is comfortable and they’re all OK with that?’ “Well, f**k you, because that’s not the mentality of this club. I want everyone to feel, ‘F**king hell, now we are really going to go for things’. “So we needed a squad with personalities that say, ‘I am not losing this game — I will kill someone first but… Read more »


Pls pls pls!!! Is there a link to this quote?


Apparently it was in the s*n which needless to say I don’t read but I found it on some website called football365


apparently it was in the s*n. Which I don’t read but I found on a website called football365.

pretty interesting, especially the part about Unai Emery…


It is from the interview yesterday in The Athletic. Can recommend!

Cranky Colin

Fucks sake.
This club is being well managed!
Straight talking….. no more mysteries. Bravo Edu et All.

Emi Rates

While I was as fed up with Edu as I was with Don Raul at the time he really has pulled his socks up since last season. Our last two seasons recruitments have been good. At this point I’m willing to put previous piss poor signings down to the corrupt regime of Don Raul and give Edu a full pardon.

What a difference life under Vinai has made. Perhaps praise is due to Kroenke jr as well.


Its nothing unique to Arsenal, ask a Spurs fan about N’Dombele. Edu is right but its a lot cheaper if you don’t make those mistakes in the first place. That’s where Liverpool seem to have the advantage. They just don’t seem to make those transfer mistakes, but nobody seems able to reproduce their scouting network.

A Different George

Andy Carrol? The Raheem Sterling saga? Philip Coutinho? And, saga of sagas, Luis Suarez. Hasn’t always been smooth sailing at Anfield.

Brady’s bunch

Coutinho wasn’t a failure and the money they got for selling him on allowed klopp to finish the team he currently has.

A Different George

But this was luck, not a strategy– they didn’t want to lose Coutinho.


You can add Benteke and Balotelli to that. And a fella called Aquilani – whom many may not have heard of, which is precisely the point. He cost the Scouse a cheeky 20m back when that was still a sizeable amount. Rafa bought him to replace Xabi but he only ever made 18 appearances before they flogged him off to Fiorentian for nothing.


Don’t forget the contributions from the academy of a club. Liverpool and Arsenal and other big clubs invest a lot in finding and developing young players. There’s an element of fortune, of course; a Harry Kane isn’t always an obvious future star at age 13. But it’s mostly investment and hard work, and with our crop of academy graduates we can say it’s paid off. Even if they don’t stick with the first team, they can generate profit, and can be very useful squad players for years.


Kane may not have shown future stardom at 13 but I bet he was already a world-class twunt (see my comment above).


With Liverpool, they do sometimes, it’s hit and miss but its rare. Minamino didn’t work out how they planned but I think they loaned then sold for small profit because of how well they’re doing, Chamberlain £40m, keita was expensive.

Sometimes they get it wrong too but the point is that because of the success they have, they can afford to.

Jeremy DG

Somehow edu looks very much like javier bardem in this photo

VAR will solve all the problems

He reminds me of Don Eladio from Breaking Bad/ Better Call Saul in the interview 😂 Jolly dude but ruthless when it comes to transfer.


The more time goes on the more I am brassed off when I think of Ozil.

Highest salary ever at Arsenal, more than Henry and Bergkamp combined, but wasn’t half the competitor that either of them were.

Absolutely mugged us, should have been the leader, instead always shrugging despairingly every time we lost the ball, and then calling in sick for every game up north. What a disgrace!

The fact that Fener swiftly got rid of him for his attitude tells you everything.

Pete Plum

He was a great player for us. We could have built another team around him but Emery didn’t want that. As for his relationship with Arteta something changed during lockdown and we don’t know what


That’s a bit revisionist.

We had the wrong strategy in the late Wenger years and Ozil was one of the players that took advantage of that.

He was uber-talented, but had the wrong attitude. Arsenal, Germany and Fenerbahce have all discovered that.

I had a lot of sympathy with the Germany fiasco, especially as I grew up dealing with racism in the UK, and I was rooting for him despite his foibles, but looking back I think he took us for a ride.

Pete Plum

Its what I’ve always thought


Fair enough


I’ve always wondered how vintage Arsene would have managed Mesut. He remains the only bloke who could (kinda!) handle Anelka…

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

The last paragraph is obvious, but still, the amount of fans who know it all and wanted Arteta’s head after his first full season was crazy. It’s like people think this is Football Manager


I want Tielemans!!!!!


We are off topic but, yeah, me too, want him to sign. First time I saw Tielemans was against us. If a remember well, he played for Anderlecht and totally bossed our midfield in a 3-3 draw. We had the 3-0 lead at halftime or so. He was like 16 years old.


I guess we’re in the minority! 🙂

Pete Plum

I didn’t agree with everything Edu said in the article as it was a bit spinny and implied having been right each time, but I fucking loved what he said in the long quotes that someone posted above. I think he’s the right person in the right place and am hoping the ex player dynasty keeps going and going.and is something of a rudder against any future Kroenke shaped curveballs


Love the pithy honesty and the now clear trend to towards brutal honesty and uncompromising commitment to a strategic plan, in both Edu and Mik.
Only blots on his copybook imo are the failure to snaffle Tammy A at a bargain price and to nick HFB for 1m as striker stop-gap last season. It must have been abundantly clear to him and Mik that striker issues were looming large and both -or either – of the above two would have DEFINITELY sneaked us 6-10 goals…
and that, my friends, would have been not only CL but third place!


Edu looks a bit like Tony Stark

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