Arsenal have promoted Edu to the role of Sporting Director and confirmed the Brazilian has recommitted his future to the club.
It’s understood several clubs on the continent had shown an interest in poaching the 44-year-old from the Gunners.
Intriguingly, alongside the title change, Edu will assume an “over-arching responsibility for all Academy activities” in addition to his existing duties with the men’s and women’s teams.
Per Mertesacker, our academy manager, has been running the day-to-day operation at Hale End for the last four years, so it’ll be interesting to see whether this affects his status at the club.
On the decision to promote Edu, CEO Vinai Venkatesham said: “We are delighted that Edu is recommitting his future to the Club that he so clearly loves, after making such a positive and critical contribution to our progress in his time with us so far.
“Edu’s promotion formalises his already growing influence over our Academy operations, and we look forward to Per and Edu working together to strengthen the integration between our men’s first-team and Academy yet further.”
Edu himself added: “I’m delighted to have this new role which I see as an evolution and consolidation of the way we’ve been working. We are making good progress in all areas of our men’s, women’s and academy and we are all excited about what can be achieved.
“I look forward to building on the hard work of so many people and helping all of us grow together and enjoy more success, and am thankful for the trust the club has put in me. We move forward together.”
Edu was recruited by Raul Sanllehi to become the club’s technical director in 2019. His remit was initially limited to signing players for Unai Emery but his duties increased within eight months when both Spaniards left the club.
Edu has since built a very strong relationship with Mikel Arteta who recently spoke of his desire to see his colleague stay at the Emirates.
“I just hope that he stays here for a long time because it would be a really positive thing for the club,” said Arteta in October.
“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.”