When former Arsenal midfielder Edu joined the club as technical director in July 2019, it signalled a change, with the Brazilian stepping into a role which had not existed before his arrival.
After spells at Corinthians and the Brazilian national team, Edu’s return to north London came after a meeting with then manager Unai Emery and then head of football Raul Sanllehi at The Best FIFA Football Awards in 2018.
A few months after the encounter, Edu joined Arsenal and he is one of the key decision makers at the Emirates, having outlasted both Emery and Sanllehi.
As technical director, Edu is responsible for the club’s overall sporting philosophy and their long-term recruitment and squad planning.
Since he has been in the role, Edu has overseen 13 additions and 15 outgoings with varying degrees of success, as he attempts to help Arsenal return to past glories.
However, with Mikel Arteta in charge, there appears to be a clear philosophy at the club as they look to build for the future and ship out a number of high-earning fringe players left over from previous regimes.
In his first summer in charge, Edu oversaw the signings of Gabriel Martinelli, Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz and William Saliba.
Saliba is yet to play for the first team and is one for the future, while Martinelli and Tierney have been resounding successes.
Pepe has not delivered on his potential yet and the likes of Luiz and Ceballos have proven to be solid squad options but they are expected to depart the Emirates in the summer, with Luiz’s contract set to expire and Ceballos likely to return to parent club Real Madrid.
That same summer, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson, Takuma Asano and Nacho Monreal all left the club in deals agreed after Edu had joined.
In January 2019, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares joined on loan, before completing permanent moves at the end of the season, with Cedric providing cover at full-back and Mari missing a lot of action with injury.
Along with the permanent additions of Cedric and Mari, Willian, Gabriel Magalhaes, Runar Alex Runarsson and Thomas Partey also made the move to north London this summer.
Willian has failed to show the same form he did at Chelsea and has not justified the bumper contract Arsenal handed him.
Gabriel has impressed in defence and the signing of Partey has been seen as something of a coup, although he has struggled with injury so far.
Runarsson has not had a great start to his time at the Emirates and Arsenal brought in Mat Ryan on loan from Brighton in January to provide further back-up to first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Emiliano Martinez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan left the club permanently at the start of the season, with Martinez joining Aston Villa for guaranteed first-team football and Mkhitaryan making his loan switch to Roma permanent.
Matteo Guendouzi, Konstantinos Mavraponos and Lucas Torreira also left on loan.
This month, Arsenal have focused on outgoings, with Mesut Ozil, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matt Macey leaving the club permanently and Sead Kolasinac and Saliba going out on loan.
The departures of Ozil, Sokratis and Kolasinac make sense, with the trio on big wages and fringe members of the squad.
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There have been reports that Arsenal are in talks with Shkodran Mustafi about terminating his contract, with the German another fringe player on bumper wages.
Martin Odegaard is also expected to join on loan from Real Madrid, with the Norwegian expected to compete with Emile Smith Rowe for the No 10 role.
All in all, much of the transfer business Edu has overseen has made sense, especially with regard to outgoings, but some of the signings have yet to deliver.
Alongside Arteta, Edu appears to be spearheading a clear strategy at Arsenal but it will take at least another season to judge their success as they continue to rid the squad of deadwood.