Arsenal transfer chief Edu has revealed he won’t compromise on the type of player he wants to sign for the club in a bid to avoid the mistakes of the previous regime.
Edu, a member of Arsenal’s last title-winning side, has led a seismic overhaul of the playing staff over the course of the last two-and-half years which has seen a number of a high-profile, high-earning, underperforming stars depart.
While the Gunners have invested heavily in the likes of Ben White, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, to name but a few, their arrivals have been partly offset by the, at times, ruthless decisions to axe some big names.
Arsenal’s wage bill has been drastically reduced after Edu, in conjunction with Mikel Arteta, oversaw the acrimonious departures of Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac, both now with Ligue 1 clubs, earned significant salaries.
And, according to Edu, gone are the days of spending heavily on players motivated by financial gain with little or no resale value.
Explaining his process of signing players, Edu cited the example of talks he held with an unnamed Borussia Dortmund star whose dream of a move to Arsenal broke down after he obsessed over the details of a potential contract.
‘Face to face — I go there, I meet the player, if I have to travel to Germany, anywhere,’ Edu told The Athletic.
‘I want to see the player, the agent, the family, put everyone together and say, ‘Guys, listen to me and what I want to say’.
‘And then I sell what we are doing, our project. Because it works both ways, doesn’t it?
‘I want to show them, but I want to see as well if they want to enjoy because if I smell something wrong (then) thank you very much, I go (and don’t sign them).
‘I faced an experience like this, for a player in Dortmund. I started to talk to them, engage the player, talk to the family, but always, ‘Yeah, but what about my contract?’.
I said, ‘Listen, I want to understand first if you engage with this, if you like this. If you like it, I can talk, but not the opposite side’. ‘Ah no, let’s talk about the money…’ No, no, no, no.
‘And one day, I said to the agent: ‘Guys, thank you very much, it’s not what I want to do’. Boom.’
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