Mikel Arteta is hoping Arsenal can persuade Edu to stay at the club for the long-term explaining the technical director plays a vital role at the Emirates.
Reports this week suggest the Gunners want the Brazilian to commit to the club after attracting suitors from elsewhere on the continent.
Recruited in July 2019 by our former head of football Raul Sanllehi, Edu joined with a remit to sign players for Unai Emery. When both Spaniards were unceremoniously dumped by the club within eight months of each other, his role took on even greater importance as part of a slimline management structure, especially with rookie coach Arteta heading things up in the dugout.
It’s been far from plain sailing for Edu over the last three years. There’s been a pandemic to contend with (and the knock-on effect that had on the club’s finances), poor results on the pitch and a dangerous flirtation with an agent-led transfer policy that saw the club sign a few duds.
Slowly but surely, a level of calm and stability has been achieved and the results on and off the pitch have followed.
Asked about the rumours of Edu signing new terms, Arteta said: “I just hope that he stays here for a long time because it would be a really positive thing for the club.
“I work with him really well, I think he’s a super important figure at the club that represents all the values, all the ideas and everything that we want to do in the right way. Hopefully, that will be the case.
He added: “Yes, [I work with him daily]. There’s a lot happening at a football club and he has a huge role. He has a really good way of communicating with people and managing a lot of things that happen daily. For me and the team, he’s really important.
“I think you have to build that relationship. First of all, you have to be very well respected, the roles have to be very clear and you have to share the same ideas, at the same time you have to be challenged by each other because sometimes as coaches, we have other ideas or we want something right now that is not the best thing for the club.
“We have the right balance, not only with Edu but with Vinai [Venkatesham], Rich [Garlick], Tim [Lewis] and the ownership. It’s really important that at the end, we make a decision altogether, it’s not your decision or my idea, in good and difficult moments we are together.”
We’re not entirely sure how it works at management level, but we were a little surprised to read the Daily Mail framing Edu’s employment situation like he was a player. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he’s working on a fixed-length deal that eventually needs renewing but more likely is a persuasive pay bump of some sort.
Edu wasn’t the only member of staff to get a pat on the back from Arteta. Asked about Albert Stuivenberg by the media in Eindhoven, he gave his Dutch assistant a glowing endorsement.
“He’s very important. He’s someone that I’ve know for a long time that has been very, very important in everything we do,” said Arteta.
“An excellent human being first, someone that has a very special way of understanding the game, he’s been raised in a culture that’s very similar to I was raised, we share a lot of ideas and he’s someone with huge experience in international level, academy level and club level. So he’s someone who is really valuable to the team.”