Edu explains reasoning behind every single Arsenal signing

After the Arsenal CEO Vinai Venkatesham sent a letter to all the Arsenal staff at the end of the transfer window explaining that everyone needs to be patient as the Gunners are building a long term strategy to get us back up competing at the top table.

It has started with Arteta and Edu having a massive clearout of all the aging, overpaid and unwanted players, and building a new young squad to challenge in the future.

Now Edu has also made an exclusive interview with SkySports, explaining the same thing as Vinai, namely that all the new young incoming players have all been bought with the same long term strategy, even if they are unlikely to be going straight into the first team.

In the interview, Edu has given a full detailed reasoning behind each and every player, all of them aged 23 or under, that arrived this summer. “You see the strategy;” he said. “for every single name I can explain to you the reasons.

“Aaron Ramsdale, for example, he is a very good football player and has the potential to be a big part of the team in the future.”

“For the future of the team. What he wants to do is to balance that position and why do you bring him in? We already have one player there to play games with Bernd Leno. But, we have to bring someone in to help for the future.

“Then, at right-back, we just signed Takehiro Tomiyasu. He is someone who can come here and plays straight away because we loaned Hector Bellerin to allow space for him to come and feature straight away.

“That’s the plan but of course, it’s up to Mikel if he plays or not.

“And then, if you go to Nuno Tavares, he has the same characteristics because we have Kieran Tierney there to play, but we needed someone to cover him.”

“We suffered last year because we lost a lot of players and we didn’t really have good back-ups to play games.

“I believe we need a squad to win games. We need a squad to be in a good position at the end of the season because it is not only about the first XI.

“Again, we need a foundation. We need players to play and then we need players to cover the first XI.

“Now let’s put it into context. For example, in the midfield, you have Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. So, for me and for Mikel it doesn’t make sense to sign another player to be on top of them if they are the ones that are going to be playing.

“That’s why we chose Albert Sambi Lokonga to help them.

“If you go up front we have Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli. I want to see them playing together.

“In the number 10 position, we saw a gap there because we just have Emile Smith Rowe. We needed a number 10 with the same quality to be there, help and play.

“Where we needed to spend big, big money, for me and for Mikel, that was in the centre-back position because we needed someone to fill that position. David Luiz was leaving and this was the one where we needed someone to come here and straight away have an impact on the team with the right profile of what we believe for the short, medium and long term.

“That was Ben White. That is why we went there and signed Ben White to give the squad what the squad needed.”

So basically Edu is saying that only Ben White and Tomiyasu have been bought to go straight into the first team, but all the rest are basically backups.

I’m not so sure if that is the case with Martin Odegaard because I can see him and Smith-rowe sharing the games between them to keep them both fresh.

But Lokonga, Tavares and Ramsdale, although ostensibly squad players, are young enough to patiently await their chances to be integrated into Arteta’s plans.

When you look at how Edu has explained the strategy behind our transfer dealings, do you now feel a little more confidence in the project?

Tags Edu

61 Comments

  1. Oracle Collins says:

    I don’t accept this from Edu,Only signing future young players a team needs balance with experienced players…what about prime quality players for now so that Arsenal can be competitive, not about to retire old players eg Willian and Arsenal have been planning for the future for the past 13 or 15 years now what is he saying? Chelsea and Man city never took that long to rebuild 🏟🤔

    1. Zamind says:

      Exactly, how far is Edus future.
      Did we not hear about the future before since the days of wenger. Or do we want to plan our future after relegation?

  2. Ayan says:

    I still believe, they should get an experienced and well grounded Coach. Arteta is still learning!

  3. weeble says:

    my only concern based on this report is it seems to imply a 4-2-3-1 when Mikel has repeatedly stated his desire for a 4-3-3. Good news is we have the players that can do both. it also indicates a continued featuring of Xhaka, drat.

    1. lupe says:

      With Xhaka at this club as a starter, we can never play a fluid 4-3-3 like many top teams. He’s not capable of playing as a lone DM neither can he play as one of the CMs due to mobility issues. Xhaka defines this club negatively.

  4. gotanidea says:

    He’s done a pretty nice job by signing several good young players, unfortunately he still can’t replace some of our CFs with the one who fits Arteta’s system

    1. Ayan says:

      Please, what is Arteta system?

      1. Dan kit says:

        8 defensive players and hope for the best ?

        1. siamois says:

          😂 pretty much!

      2. gotanidea says:

        Positional play with high ball possession, similar to Wenger’s and Guardiola’s. It’s hard to explain with short sentences, so watch this if you have time:

        youtube.com/watch?v=dhmCwI5vAlE

        1. SadGunner says:

          Dear GAI. At the end of a football match no one is concerned about the ball possession, Aerial duels won, tackles, goal attempts etc etc but simply the number of goals scored. If Arsenal can score a goal more than the opponent then I am happy. Whether it is 6-5 or 5-4 it doesn’t matter. More the goals more entertaining and thriller will be the game…So attack has to be improved first to bring Arsenal to glory days.

          1. gotanidea says:

            Most of our CFs can’t even hold the ball in the opposition’s area, let alone improve our attack. We need to fix that department first, be it with Arteta or with Conte

        2. Durand says:

          Similar to Wenger and Pep? Seriously?

          Arteta-ball with it’s static positioning and negativity is more like Jose’ M. than anything resembling Wenger or Pep.

          We’re headed for a 8-1-1 formation with Arteta, and Xhaka as the lone midfielder.

          1. gotanidea says:

            Mourinho prefers to collect tall players instead of the high technical ones, to defend and score from set-pieces. His players’ interchange of positions is also more conservative and not as radical as Arteta’s

          2. Durand says:

            I would agree with you GAI, but both Mourinho and Arteta basis is negative football.

            They prefer defending to attacking, and immediately park the bus if they get the lead.

            Look at the vast number of defensive subs Arteta makes, and when he’s struggling to counter opponents tactics, he opts for a defensive sub or plan.

            Wenger and Pep encourage free flowing football; that is the antithesis of Arteta-ball.

          3. Joe. S says:

            Gai, you’re like a mobile torture chamber spouting the same old same old. Having to listen to you going on about left sided players and target men settlers, I would happily spill out the state secrets after an hour or so. I guess we watch football from a different perspective and never the twain shall meet.

          4. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

            absolutely loved what you did there Joe S.!!!

      3. Kedar says:

        Just to go byline and cross the thousands of times.
        That’s the only tactic he knows

  5. Quantic Dream says:

    It’s not right to call players like Nuno Tavares and Sambi Lokonga “cover” and “help”. They are here to compete and should know if they do well they can become starting lineup players as well. Am sure none of them came to Arsenal just to sit on the bench.

    1. Wing-Hang says:

      I’m thinking the same thing too.

      The way Edu spoke makes it seem like Tierney, Leno and Partey are more or less guaranteed starting spots.

      And the biggest scandal of all: Xhaka is regarded as being so good that any signing made for his position can only be a backup!

      Every statement being made by the club management is increasing my doubts on their capacity to properly function in their appointed roles.

  6. Namo says:

    You can focus on signing back up players, when your starting 11 is good enough to compete. That’s not the case with Arsenal. Well, the transfer window is closed so let’s focus on getting the best out of our team.
    Our next game is a “bottom of the table” battle with Norwich. Anything less than a convincing win is unacceptable. No brain farts, no silly red cards, no excuses.

    1. Gunners4life says:

      Edu seem to forget we finished 8th last season. Or is 8th our new benchmark now?

  7. Ahar solomon says:

    Let us see what will happen next week.

  8. GunneRay says:

    H did say that we should only judge the performance of the team when they have their preferred starting eleven after the international break. So from the beginning of October to the end of November we should see the squad they have built week in week out. Lets wait until the end of November before we judge if it worked out or not. It’s only fair!

  9. GunneRay says:

    He (Edu), not H. Sorry!

    1. Gunners4life says:

      Please no more sorryy… We wont forgive you!!??

  10. Sean Williams says:

    The danger is the here and now. We are bottom and we don’t have really quality players who are ready right ‘now’. Right now the team is in danger of being stuck near the bottom for some time.

  11. ArseOverTit says:

    Dammed if you Edu and dammed if you Edunt!

    He really talks a good game our Edu doesn’t he!;) Let’s see what all this waffle relates to in terms of on field performance and results.

    Too much dependence on youth, little experience and all for a future in 1,2,3 maybe 4 seasons by which time we will long be in the championship.

    #clueless

    1. Dan kit says:

      I don’t think he talks a good game TBH ,I watched the interview and he came across amateurish IMO ,maybe it was because he was talking in his seconded language but he comes across as slimy and I know I’ve said it before car salesman like (no offence to any car salesman on here if any ).

      It looked rehearsed for the cameras and he didn’t say anything that the fans didn’t already know .

      1. ArseOverTit says:

        No I agree. Slimes is the word like as you say a car salesman or game show host. Seen him on video with people and he just comes across as disingenuous to me..

        He is saying what he thinks people want to hear and that’s what I meant about how he talks a good game. I think he and MA will get found out soon enough once ‘their’ full team is in place..

        1. David says:

          I have also seen the interview.
          Edu’s answers and explanations were clear and straightforward.

        2. Tom says:

          Personally I dont think he says what people want to hear.

          People want signings for today’s team which isnt the motivation for the signings. So how does that say that he is saying what people want to hear when he talks about the foundations and needing time?!?!!

          Please Reflect before typing otherwise you might come across like a car salesman looking to agree with anyone to get a like!

          1. ArseOverTit says:

            Tom think what you want chap.
            I’ll say what I want and how I want to say it and could not care less what you or anyone else thinks.

            Never have done and not gonna start now just because you suggest it;)

            I’m nearly 50 and don’t post to win popularity contests or to run with the in crowd. All my thoughts are my own.

            Not gonna break down on here what I mean by what people want to hear on here for you just try to read between the lines a little.

          2. Tom says:

            AOT you are free to be who you want. Clearly I have a bee in my bonnet about comments that contradict the evidence.
            We are at a stage as fans (like liverpool went through) where we stop listening to the club in what they say and do and go with our own agenda and that is spreading like fake news.

            I appreciate it’s all opinions nonetheless, we are free to think for ourselves I know and so, I too express when I feel my club is being kicked when it’s down by their own fans with comments attacking employees / ex players for being dishonest. That I dont stand and watch and when honest men are trying to do an honest job.

      2. Tom says:

        Dan Kit
        He said what fans already know yet the expectation of fans are not align to what they ‘already know’.

        There is a difference in as a fan disagreeing and stating this and why, and respecting the decisions being made and allowing it to atleast work.

        Is he not right in waiting to cast an opinion until when he see’s the team play together week in week out?

        I know our squad isn’t prime for our immediate targets of aiming for the big boys of the league But come on, does no one see that buying 2 or 3 top quality players now doesnt work. Buying a core with a younger age group before buying the 2 or 3 is what is needed!!!!!!!!!!

        Patience is what is needed for the season ahead not for another 17 years….

        Also, being rehearsed shows the smart approach of a successfully minded people…

        Surely you dont go into a job interview or a presentation without rehearsing?!?!

        Personally I dont have a poster of Edu up on my wall 😂 but I respect the fact I know little about him, and when I watch and read the transcript on SS I respected what we are trying to do. I cant knock that but some just dont give up in what they think regardless of evidence showing otherwise

        Some fans will only support a club that does what they want and lacks the maturity to understand and see what is happening is infact the same as what we all want, because we all have the same thing in common, we support Arsenal right?!

  12. Goonster says:

    Now lets see Arteta and the new signings performing at an acceptable level.
    No more excuses.

  13. Jakes Mradu says:

    Arsenal needed ready made players……..and a ready made manager……..!

  14. Grandad says:

    On a brighter note I am convinced that Lokonga will prove to be an excellent signing who will soon be a first team regular.Very impressive in his full international debut for Belgium earlier this week.In Tomiyasu and White we also have acquired talents who will be first team picks and upgrades on Bellerin and Luis in my opinion.

    1. Davi says:

      Agree on all except Ben White, whom I’ve not been convinced by yet – doesn’t mean I won’t be but I don’t think he has the attributes for a starting CB in this system

  15. Adiva says:

    I have nothing against all the players we signed. I watched Norway against Belgium and the performance of MO had me spilled my drink. It totally different from what I saw of him with us last season. The link up with Haaland was superb, his passes are slick and forward with pace and precision and the boy looked so fast. In a nutshell I think we should be worried about the coach and Xhaka. Those two are the weakest link in our team

  16. Andrew Elder says:

    Doesn’t fill me with hope I’m afraid. He is basically saying the current team is good enough to compete in the EPL and the young additions, barring White and Tomiasu, are merely back players who will hopefully develop into quality replacements. A bit risky, what if they don’t? Time will tell but it looks as though we are in it for the long haul.

    1. Davi says:

      Yeah I agree – what edu said would have made sense if we already had a bone fide quality first team, but we don’t. We need a refresh, not to build on top of what we have because what we have isn’t good enough. Auba’s not been scoring and Laca isn’t ever going to be a big goalscorer, so where do our goals come from? And Xhaka simply should have been replaced as he’s proven over and over again that he cannot be relied upon over the course of a few games, let alone a season

  17. Andrew Elder says:

    ‘back up’ players!

  18. RFrancis says:

    We are now guaranteed to be outside of Europe and top 4 for the next three years, at least, because we failed to spend wisely.

    From where will we get funds to invest next year when the likes of Lacazette, Nketiah and Chambers leave as free agents? And here, I have chosen to exclude players on loan within less than a year remaining on their contracts – example, Torreira.

    Arsenal were in a superior bargaining position at the start of the transfer window; we had a huge transfer budget when other teams, especially those in Europe, were struggling to offload good players. Even the maestros Messi and Ronaldo were available. (I’m sure the Arsenal of old would have been a viable destination for both).

    We opted instead to spend our money like a drunken sailor, wasting over 50M on un-proven players – essentially – with only minor upgrades to to the starting eleven.

    Next year this time, I predict, we will moaning again but the new subject will be: why the hell did we allow them to sell Saka and ESR for just 120M.

    Opportunity lost! Big time!!!

    1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      like what you did there RF….of course, your preaching to the choir, when it comes to me, but it’s vitally important that more well-reasoned individuals are leaning into this narrative…anyone who tries to suggest that if it was actually known from the offing that these monies were available and that they were likewise told that the funds were specifically earmarked for the players we actually acquired, that they would be pleased by that possibility, are either liars or slightly delusional, to put it mildly…my greatest fear is that as a direct result of these moves, should things spiral further downward, that, as you suggest, decisions about our “blue-chippers’ will have to be made

      1. RFrancis says:

        Take a bow TRVL-4EVER!!!!! You played a big role in the campaign against competence and accurately predicted that the “crap would kit the fan” if changes weren’t made.

        1. RFrancis says:

          AGAINST INCOMPETENCE!!!

          1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

            Cheers RF

  19. Kev82 says:

    Inexperienced squad and inexperienced management some would say recipe for disaster 🧐

  20. SadGunner says:

    So Edu has admitted Arsenal is not going to improve this term. We have to wait for 3 or 4 seasons to reap the results. If the project fails what would be the value of these players ?

  21. dboy says:

    I support the Manager and the process. Because the rot and indisciplin has gone too far. We need to create a new culture and that means building from the foundation. It just seems much clearer after this interview. COYG!!!

    “I am just trying to explain the strategy behind it because when people see just one window, of course they see it like this. I respect that. But you have to see what we started to do since we’ve been together. We’ve tried to clean the squad.

    “As I said, it is 21 exits. 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.“

    1. RFrancis says:

      Supporting Arteta to lead/development a team of young players is tantamount to the FOX guarding a Hen House. How many more young players are you prepared to sacrifice on Arteta guillotine? Aren’t you satisfied with: Torriera, Saliba, Guendouzi, Martinella, Willock, ANM?
      Take a closer look; the strategy doesn’t make sense.

  22. VasC says:

    I don’t understand why this statement from the interview is missing in this article – “Normally, people like to see just one window, so I have to say it is the bigger picture because WE STARTED PLANNING THIS SQUAD A YEAR AGO in terms of consolidating the team and to try to get a better foundation.”

    Started planning this squad a year ago???

    Transfer window officially opened on May 24, 2021.

    Players unveiled at Emirates on:
    Tavares – July 10.
    ASL – July 19.
    Ben White – July 30.
    PL GAME DAY 1 – Aug 13.
    Odegaard – Aug 20.
    Ramsdale – Aug 20.
    PL GAME DAY 2 – Aug 22.
    EFL – Aug 25.
    PL GAME DAY 3 – Aug 28.
    TT – Aug 31.

    Is there any rational explanation for not putting the “plans in the making for over a year” into action before the season kick-started???

    No. Lack of player sales / offloading are not valid reasons, at least for this current management team. We raised next to nothing through player sales this summer (including Willock). And we’ve kept unwanted players unregistered for a season, yet paid their wages under this management. The players were identified and money was there to be spent. Yet, we had to wait until the 11th hour to put the plans into actions. So, none of these are acceptable reasons.

    If the “new project” is based on youth, why was a two year + 15 mils offer tabled before Sergio Ramos???

    Why Edu & co advocated the signing of Kia’s client Neto over their previously identified target Ramsdale???

    Taking all this into account, coupled with the “clean slate” policy, players’ entering the final two years of their current contract policy and the UCL with Willian in three years saga, I don’t trust this management anymore.

    I’ll just support the players who represent and give their all to Arsenal on the pitch.

    1. Durand says:

      Hence no milestones or way to measure progress from Edu, Arteta, or management.

      Instead Vinai comes out with his plea, and repackaged by Edu and Arteta.

      Game plan is avoiding any specifics like targeted finish in table, or any talk of top 6 or top 8.

      Continue pleading for patience and avoid discussing over £300 million spent since Edu joined, over £200 million with Arteta, or why Arteta is immune from the standards that got his 2 predecessors sacked.

      Hell, knowing this, better we kept Wenger and let him spend £300 million rather than Kia influenced Edu, or Emery even.

      #blindleadingtheblind

    2. SadGunner says:

      What was going to happen was obvious from pre season matches. After pre season results they started panic buying. If they have planned a year ago Arsenal would have been in a better position right now. Because Arsenal struggled to score goals last season. That was the area to be addressed. I have seen people here saying Arsenal had 3 rd best defence in the 2nd half of last season. Then why 150m was spent on defence? So these interviews are just to fool fans.

  23. jon fox says:

    I will not judge any of the new players until they have had a fair and long enough time to show us that they can or cannot play to the standard we badly need. Some Gooners, are already judging players they have not yet seen play in our shirt.

    THAT IS FOOLISH IN THE EXTREME AND UNFAIR TOO.

    But many football fans ARE unfair, not only at our club either, so it is not surprising they judge far too soon.

    IMO, the biggest probeem we face is that EDU AND MA both consider Xhaka as a key and regular player. Virtually all Gooners consider him as useless and a long term liability, myself included.

    So almost ANY first choice eleven we play will include XHAKA and THAT is the most severe proven long term problem our team faces .

    Why any sane football person wants that man in their team is to my logical thinking mind, both a mystery and a catastrophe rolled into one.

  24. ArseOverTit says:

    I’ve just come up with an idea for chant at the Emirates that almost made a little bit of wee come out..

    ‘Edu du du come on and waste that wonga…

    Edu , du du it’s wonga waste for sure..

    To the melody of Black Laces song ‘Do the Conga’

    Join in everybody!

  25. Chapo says:

    Firstly it was The Kroenkes, Second Vinai, now Edu, clearly Arteta isn’t going anytime soon. This is so obvious, even to the blind.
    What a mess

  26. Post it Pat says:

    As a newcomer to posting would like to make a positive suggestion about how our current group could work effectively. I suggest an A and B team, B playing cups and A premiership games. Tierney captain of As and Xaxa Bs.

    Formation would be 3-5-1-1 or 3-5-2.

    A team:
    Ramsdale
    White Gabriel Tierney
    AMN Partey Elneny Lokonga Saka
    Odengaad
    Aubemayang

    B team:
    Leno
    Tomi. Holding. Kolasinac
    Pepe. Smith Rowe. Xaxa Tavares
    Lacazette
    Balogun. Martinelli

    Thoughts? Be kind ..

  27. Joe. S says:

    It’s something about the Portuguese language. There seem to be an abundance of euthemisms like amazing, wonderful or beautiful which don’t translate well into English and come across as phony or insincere. I am only going by my experience as a teacher in Sydney where over the past ten years I’ve taught a lot of mostly University educated Brazilian students. Simply put, salt of the earth people but there is a tendency to self promote or overly exaggerate.

  28. Salisu principal says:

    I didn’t agree with edu look at what he was saying all the players that been bought are backup of the last season players that finished the season in eight position, this doesn’t make any sense if last season we finished eight position then the players bought should be upgrade of what we have honestly i fear the worst for arsenal.

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