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Arsenal director Edu defends club's spending, transfer strategy

FOOTBALL By Reuters | September 4th 2021
December 21, 2019 New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu inside the stadium before the match REUTERS

Arsenal's technical director Edu has defended the club's transfer strategy over the summer despite spending more than any Premier League side and still finding themselves at the bottom of the standings.

The north London club have spent more than 150 million pounds ($208 million) on young recruits such as Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale, and Edu said the club's plan was to form a foundation for the future.

"We have to see the wider context than just to see the money around it. We signed six players who are under 23, which means a lot in terms of our planning," Edu told Sky, adding that 21 players in total had left the club over the past year.

"It's a lot, almost a revolution. But how are you going to fill those 21 holes? You need time, you cannot come in and do it straight away.

"They (new recruits) are young but we have five senior players in the squad and in the first 11... Around those five we have very, very good, talented players which we believe in."

Arsenal, who have missed out on European competition for the first time in 25 years after finishing eighth last season, are already on the back foot having lost their first three league games without scoring a goal and conceding nine.

Edu accepted the situation was "really tough" but declined to set a target for the club this season.

"I don't want to go for top four or top six or top eight or top 10. I'm just really looking forward to seeing this squad play together," he added.

"We need to create a solid foundation. I don't want to see the squad in one season - I'd like to see Arsenal strong in one, two, three, four and five seasons. That needs strategy," he said.

That will also require improvements from the club's non-playing staff as well, he said.

"I want to improve myself and try to help the club. Mikel has to improve, and the coaching staff has to improve."


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