If you had offered Arsenal earlier in the summer that by the end of the transfer window they would have signed Gabriel Magalhaes, Willian and Thomas Partey, and also brought back Dani Ceballos on another season-long loan, then they surely would have taken it.
The Gunners’ deadline day swoop for Partey was the icing on the cake for a very successful few months in the transfer market, with Mikel Arteta seemingly being given the financial backing by KSE.
But whilst the Spanish manager continues to see his star grow with every passing game – and trophy – that he wins, there is one man who deserves a tonne of credit for the work that he has done off the pitch: Edu.
Appointed as the club’s technical director in the summer of 2019, he was tasked with the role of coordinating “the work of our (Arsenal’s) first-team coaching group, the academy and player scouting and recruitment in order to oversee the constant building up and efficient strengthening of our squad”.
Over a year later, and it’s fair to say that he is delivering on his remit. The Invincible has been at the helm as the Gunners have won both the FA Cup and Community Shield, whilst this summer has seen his role grow considerably following the shock departure of head of football Raul Sanllehi.
The Spaniard had a mixed time of things at the Emirates, and his apparent desire to give Unai Emery a new contract didn’t seem like the smartest of ideas given that the former PSG boss lost the Europa League final and didn’t get into the top four either in his first season in charge.
But despite the greater power and responsibility, Edu has risen to the challenge, and it’s no surprise that areas of concern in the first-team squad – like at centre-back and in holding midfield – have been addressed with some superb signings.
If there were any lingering painful memories of Sanllehi, Edu has well and truly banished them.