Opinion – Debunking the Edu and Arteta “Arsenal Transfer Gurus” myth

Hello all!

It’s been a long time since I posted any write-up here but I find it necessary to write one now because Arsenal fans world over are currently in Utopia over our prospect of winning the league.
Well, I thought it wise to pour cold water on our excitement by reminding us of our failures in the hope that this will bring back the negative and sad feeling we’ve been accustomed to for years now. (You can take that as a joke).
For this write-up, I wish to debunk the myth that we have been successful with our transfers, or that Edu and Arteta have been “transfer gurus”.
Shall we proceed? Let’s note that for every:
1. Ramsdale, there has been a Rúnarsson
2. Zinchenko, there has been a Tavares
3. Gabriel, there has been a Mari
4. Tomiyasu, there has been a Cedric
5. White, there has been a Mavropanos
6. Vieira, there has been a Ceballos (I’m sure you didn’t see that one coming)
7. Partey, there has been a Lokonga
8. Ødegaard, there has been a Willian
9. Jesus, there has been…well a Jesus
Even in contract renewals and releasing of players, there have been some hits and corresponding misses.
For every:
10. Nketiah, there has been an Aubameyang
11. Lacazette, there has been an Emi Martinez.
Some players have obviously been left out due to their transfer successes being indifferent.
In terms of bringing in prospects, we have brought in Marquinhos but also lost Omari Hutchinson to Chelsea.
Overall, that’s about 50% success rate. Not so much of transfer gurus now are they?
In the last write-up I posted earlier this season, I mentioned that I won’t make the mistake of predicting the outcome of the season too early as I was somewhat left with a little egg on my face.
I said I would wait till after December to do that this time around and I will do so now. We will win the league. That’s my prediction.
That said, I’m personally very happy with our team. I do hope and sincerely somehow believe that we can win the title this season. Who says that City will not drop points again? Not me
Like I mentioned earlier, I only wish to open up old wounds. After all, that’s what The Arsenal fans are used to…


LAST DAY TODAY! WIN FREE CLUB LEVEL TICKETS for Arsenal Women V Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday

Mikel Arteta compares Arsenal captain Odegaard to De Bruyne

Please enjoy, watch and subscribe to JustArsenalVids

Tags Arsenal transfers


  1. most of these have not been bad. runnarson, willian and lokonga does not fill me with much promise.
    the others have been brought in to fill a need either short term or been loaned out for longer term development i.e. tavarez.
    i am not on that believes they are perfect in the transfer windows, main reason being last jan when lack of reinforcements cost us top 4, however, no way as bad as this article makes out

    1. Exactly. When you buy a kid for £7m you accept that there’s a chance they won’t develop, or that it’ll take time to develop.

  2. Well balanced, factual article. Too this I would also add contract management where Edu/MA have no covered themselves in glory.

    With that being said our 1st team is good but our fringe players desperately need coaching. They train with the starting 11 so why do they seem so disjointed? The reality is many of our starter are just brilliant footballers, and they’d be brilliant at a multitude of clubs. Our fringe players on the other hand are not brilliant footballers, but don’t seem to improve at all.

    1. In some cases perhaps the bench players are just not at the same level.

      For example, Lokogna and ElNeny in midfield are cover, but in no way competition for Xhaka and Partey.

      same issue with wingers; ESR hasn’t been fit enough, and Vieira (in 1st year) neither are pushing Saka or Martinelli to compete for starts in PL.

      Nketiah is holding the line for us and doing a job, but is he really competition for Jesus?

      We have cover, but many positions and players have not shown themselves to be competing for starts, or productive enough to challenge the regular starters.

      Tomi and Tierney can make a case, Nketiah and Turner are making strides, but is anyone else really at the level to challenge regular starters?

      1. Well Richard, get the finger out so! We have been hearing about necessary renewals for months now for saliba, Saka and martinelli

        1. The club have activated 1 extra year clauses in the contracts of both Saliba and Saka. Martinelli will sign his new contract.

    2. Fabio Viera seems to be the most improved amongst the subs, noticed how he instantly came alive in the FA immediately lokonga was replaced with xhaka,

  3. I like this article, as it gives me a perspective on what tends to get lost in the euphoria of being top of the PL.

    It would have been nice to have seen what the costs (both in transfers, wages and early settlements of contracts) have been to get where we are today as well, but I don’t like piggybacking on your excellent article.

    Of course, we could also go into the signings etc of AW, GG, BM and UE (note he was not responsible) and come up with the same scenario, but I believe you are looking at MA / Edu in isolation.

    I’m also with you, regarding the latter part of the article, where you praise them both for where we are today.

    That’s what we should be concentrating on, not the past successes and / or failures.
    We should also remember that MA was, without question, learning on the job, so to speak and one cannot question the brilliance of his summer signings…. and, I hope, this transfer window acquisitions.

    Long may it continue and thanks for the article.

    1. As an afterthought, I would consider MA the most successful manager so far this season in the PL – unlike his previous seasons – and that is because of his signings, his man management skills and the way he has delivered the kind of football that has made the players and fans as one.

      We all make mistakes, it’s if we learn from them, that’s the question and MA most certainly has.

    2. What a load of nonsense. for a start the majority of those players Edu didnt bring in and Arteta and Edu have been trying to offload those players who are grossly overpaid by past management and almost impossible to do so. they should be commended for the job they have done and continue to do so at the club. This article is complete rubbish.

      1. I agree. There is a real lack of balance and perspective. It is instructive to note that the same people keep penning these kind of unreasonable, negative pieces. And the same people praise such nonsense.
        The fact that we had a bloated squad of underperforming players is conveniently overlooked. Or that we had any number of overpaid senior players who were not at the required level etc etc.
        Instead of a reasoned analysis we have the false equivalence of the signings of the likes of Tomiyasu and Cedric without any consideration of the circumstances in which they were signed.
        This is a poor piece, supported as usual by those who have typically had little positive to say about how the challenges of the last few years have been met.

  4. Very strange article, which seems only to have the premeditated purpose of questioning Arteta and Edu, and built solely on subjective feelings rather than any sort of definitions and facts.

  5. Over all I’m satisfied with signings
    Mari and Cedric were meant to be loan signings for 6 months until Sanhelli got busy. Ceballos was a loan signing too at an early stage in Arteta and Edu’s Arsenal career
    Willian was a disaster but at least he moved on.
    Runarsson was not bought to be number 1 but I’ll admit he didn’t fit and had a disappointing start
    I think what I’m trying to say is that the successful signings have far outweighed the less so.
    The fact that the successful ones such as Jesus, Zinchenko, White, Tomi, Gabriel and Odegaard have fundamentally contributed to our current success and should not be overlooked.

    1. Runarsson was a disaster performance-wise but he didn’t cost that much. Tavares was also a cheap buy at £6 million and judging by his recent loan at Marseille, he’s now worth 4-5 times what we paid.

      Ceballos was just a 2-year loan.

      Mavropanos I agree on because he’s been very good for Stuttgart for several years now so Edu definitely should’ve got more than £3 million for him.

      Cedric was a free transfer and he was never starting material, basically just a cover who we don’t need anymore.

      I think overall and financially, Pablo Mari, the Auba-saga, Willian and selling of Martinez and Mavropanos for peanuts were the worst mistakes. You can also add not selling AMN to that list as well.

  6. I understand the tone of the article is more to provide perspective than to take down arteta and edu, but i would say I think they’ve got almost all of the bigger transfers right, especially over the last 18 months. I think we’ve become more attractive for new players as well, due to the careful building operation arteta has overseen, which has allowed some of the better ones, like jesus and zinchenko.
    I also think certain signings like Cedric, weren’t actually bad – statistically he was one of our better players, and in reality he served his purpose as a reliable stop gap that was easy to get over the line. Not perfect, given his high wages, but not terrible either.

  7. I think what the author has failed to mention is that the players deemed to be failures were not failures at all in the context of them being brought in as cover for relatively low transfer fees and wages. A player like Cedric for instance has done the job he was brought to do whenever called upon. It’s ridiculous label a young player like Viera a failure barely halfway into his first season. The only players I would call flops are Willian and Lokonga because so much more was expected from them. I think people appreciate Arteta and Edu because they have got more hits than misses compared to the management of other clubs in the league when much was not expected from them.

    1. I mentioned Viera as a success while Ceballos was mentioned as a failure in comparison. Look closely again

  8. Very good article as I believe it brings balance and does not allow us to get ahead of ourselves.

    The moment we start expecting championships and certain transfer dealings etc, well this is the moment we have unrealistic expectations which can harm the club.

    It is important to crticise the flaws but also praise the good work. Critism is if constructive will only strengthen our club as it should be taken.

    Because you criticize or praise makes you no less of a supporter and only emphasizes you want what is best for the club.

  9. I know that Arteta / Edu have not given the Arteta doomers too much to negative red meat to get their teeth into so far this season.

    So any little manufactured/ irrelevant negativity that they can create for themselves in order to have a little moan at him understandable. Arteta and the team doing well so far has not given them that many opportunities to progress their Arteta dlislike / grudge.

    Just remember, Arteta doing well means Arsenal football club doing well, which leads to Arsenal fans having something to brag about against our rival fans. Which leads to us having that feel good / fuzzy feeling on the inside as a fanbase..

  10. In terms of player recruitment ,Brighton are the most successful Club in the Premier League by some way.During the last 5 years of thereby they have bought young players relatively cheaply and sold them on at a considerable profit.At the same time they have cemented their position as a recognised Premier League side and on top of that they are good to watch. Brighton fans must rejoice when they witness the mismanagement which is apparent in so called giants such as Chelsea and Man Utd and others.They are a very well run Club in every respect.

  11. What a strange offering this is, it’s difficult to know where to start.

    So I’ll start with “9. Jesus, there has been…well a Jesus”… what’s that supposed to mean? Looks like an attempt to fluff up the list because there’s not enough to say.

    The rest is also off point since many of those cast in the role of “failure” are a combination of:

    1. Loan signings
    2. Players who are still in the “work in progress” category
    3. Cheap purchases often as a stop-gap measure
    4. Players who were not directly attributable to MA/Edu
    5. Players who were not a failure at all (e.g. Martinez)

    And perhaps some other categories as well – including the (suspected) role of people like Sanllehi, where we don’t get to see who was really responsible for a transfer.

    You also have to look at the way players behave unexpectedly and how they look after their own needs (Martinez was understood to be demanding playing time as No1 or he’d move on… so they moved him on – is that good or bad management?).

    Obviously their price is affected by their overall situation, at least some of which is down to the player. This is likely to be a fundamental driver in the “squad ethos” approach of making sure players who’re brought in now have the right character.

    And in the end, there will be some failures in any management team, but I’m certain that of the 11 listed here, nowhere near that number are really failures, probably only one or two.

  12. And I have also noticed that Arteta grudge holders have gone through so many talking points to continually Bash him with since 2020.

    How he is just a Pep Water boy (Pep wannabe.)

    How he will never make it as a manager / for any serious big club.

    How his ego, dictatorial and authoritarian nature will be his downfall.

    How he can never get Arsenal to challenge for the Top 4 later on EPL.

    Bad man management (because he refused to give into some primadonna underperforming poayers)

    How he should be sacked immediately etc..

    Now all that has dried up now there is a new talking point:
    “BUT BUT HE SPENT MORE THAN ANY OTHER MANAGER” that’s why he is where he is in the league.

    What’s next? Because he has perfect Lego-hair that always seems stay in place no matter what?

  13. Number 9 is disrespectful to GJ unless i’m missing something there!
    Cedric is not a flop TBH. Take out Raul’s contract thuggery and you have a very decent backup thats better than other backups we’ve had in the past!
    I dont understand your take on Mavpro so i’m gonna leave it there BUT if youre trying to insinuate that mavpro was a flop then you my friend are deluded.
    The jury is still out on Nuno who most of us believe is a natural attacker and should be on the swings.
    Auba was never a flop we only moved on from his preferred style.
    I wouldn’t call Laca a flop ’cause age catches up with you sometimes, but a young Laca would’ve done well in this system
    Runarson was Inaki Cana’s disaster he’ll forever own it.
    CONCLUSION: It takes transfer gurus to assemble a team of youngsters and get them to play highly synchronized football under two years. Klopp needed four years, Pep inherited a star studded city but needed two years.

  14. Very good article and a fair balance of opinion, which is rare on here. We undersold, Martinez, Gouendouzi and Mavropanos and let many players leave for free or worse but if we end up finishing top 2 this season and then kick on, job done.

    1. Plus it goes without saying, that unusually, all of this team rebuild would not be possible without the krankies putting the money down in huge amounts.

  15. I see no truth much at all in this slanted article. His last two sentences are insulting to us all AND show his youth and inexperience in choosing to do so, in writing little that is true.
    Far from choosing sensible analysis and real perspective, dgr8xt veers from unfair and slanted criticism of those running our team, on the one hand, but then on the other hand, rashly IMO, predicts us to win the title this year.

    I saw almost all of this article very differently from the author!

    1. The idea of wanting to make fans feel bad as stated in the article is just humour. Refer to Davi’s comment above. Only a sadist will want to make fans feel bad at this time, and I’m certainly not one. It’s just humour. That said, you can’t deny that there’s some truth to the point that we’ve got quite a number of transfers wrong. Quite a number

  16. Hi Reggie
    We have had differences of opinion (pleasantly of course) on all sorts of subjects, – in this case on allowing players to leave cheaply or for free. I clearly have a different opinion to you on the value of Guendouzi to Arsenal. He has made his mark back in France now but it took a loan or two before that happened and I doubt he would have been the ‘fit’ that exists between the players now.
    One may argue that Arsenal were a soft touch when it came to transfer fees and the like, but getting shot of certain players was essential to the new look that Arteta was bringing – well, essential to me anyway. Some were just not good enough and were being paid so handsomely that we had to assist the clubs taking them on. Covid was also a problem which we largely overlook now.

    You rightly point out that Kroenke has paid many, many millions to bring in players and I for one, feel that by and large those millions have been well spent, since we look to be heading for a CL place at the end of the season, have a great culture which is spreading through the club and players that actually have a transfer value.

    1. Sue, if we end up getting out what is being put in, then JOB DONE!!!!!. The fact is we discarded players too easily for peanuts. Gouendouzi was made out to be a villain, he wasn’t, he was hot headed, now and again and fought for his club, team. Arteta either could not or did not want to manage that, not a problem but Gouendouzi now worth 40 mil ish. Martinez thought he deserved no1, Arteta didn’t, i dont think he liked his attitude, not a problem but now a world cup winner, worth 40 mil plus and did we end up in a better position with our goal keeper? Very debatable. Mavropanos was never given a chance, sold for peanuts, worth a lot more now and some big clubs sniffing around him. Willock, never given a chance by Arteta, now a big player for a very strong Newcastle team, did we need to sell him? None of the above matters or the freebies we let go, if we turn out to achieve success this year and after. That is what ultimately matters.

      1. Your last sentence is definitely all that matters. And hindsight is a wondrous thing on both sides of the argument

      2. Reggie, Willock had plenty of chances, seeing as he made over 30 appearances for Arsenal under Arteta. Missed quite a few goalscoring chances and Arteta probably thought that Willock wouldn’t be able to play the way he wants the team to play.

  17. big Mav was signed in 2018 and wasnt an Edu and Arteta signing or are you referring to letting him go under these 2?

    i think adding context to some of the signings may add some value, Like Mari was brought in to add balance to the back line, covid hit and he got injured early on, but he always looked assured and competent but his fitness let him down – not a bad player imo was just unlucky.

    Cedric has been decent when covering, yes he has made mistakes but he alwayed gives 100% and was decent back up.

    Tavares – well he is still part of Artetas plans i believe, i think he just got thrown in at the deep end, what i mean is going from u21 portuese football to prem first 11 he in England and couldnt hack it, he has got great potential, we all can see that so a loan with no buy option will give him teh experience to be able to coem back a better player next season, hes playing really well so far, minus his silly red cards.

    Lokonga hasnt been great, not sure what type of player he is tbh, seems garbage everytime i see him, 100% mistake imo so i agree here.

    Runnersson was signed to give depth after martinez refused to compete with Leno basically and demanded no1 after a handfull of games.
    If he had manned up and took the challenge head on, he would have had the shirt by that christmas but instead he winged and moaned and got sold, Runnersson came in under advice from one of our goalkeeping coaches and was really cheap so it helped fill a gap at the time, didnt work out but was pocket change.

    Willian for me was a great deal…on paper at the time, he just had his best season at chelsea, was free and had been pretty consistent in his time in west london.
    he was great on opening day, had some decent games but wasnt at the races really most of the season, also coincided with Aubas big deal and drop off in form.

    imo our business has been great, all of big money first team players have been exceptional, even how he handled Saliba was first class and many said he should have stayed here, no MA was right to do what he did

    The team puzzle is really taking shape, i still think they are a few pieces short on what they want the team to look and play like but the picture is really taking shape and it looks good to me

  18. Debunking the debunk
    1. Rúnarsson just 2m
    2.Tavares for 8m, now market value of 15m
    3. Mari is a failure, 6m, can be sold for a loss this window
    4. Cedric came cheap, and you need good squad
    5. Mavropanos was during Wenger, and very cheap
    6. Ceballos was loan, no?
    7. Lokonga can still be developed and sold on
    8. Willian was a waste
    10. Aubameyang was a success till he signed his new contract
    11. Emi Martinez was sold for his style, and sold well. No issues there

  19. I don’t see the sense in this article. You could write the same piece on any football club in the world. No team gets recruiting right 100% of the time. I would suggest that if you ask every manager, pundit and football administrator which EPL club has had the best performance with recruitment over the last 3 seasons, Arsenal would undoubtedly be at the top of most lists and if you consider our second string players not up to the task, you only have to look at Chelsea to understand how difficult it is to have a squad of 22 performing at the same level.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors