Edu’s impact as technical director at Arsenal is finally showing rewards on the pitch. The Brazilian has put trust in a project led by Mikel Arteta in an ambitious but necessary restructure of the squad and the club’s plans, and the three years of work are taking shape.
The 44-year-old was appointed in July 2019, four months before Arteta was appointed manager of the club following Unai Emery’s sacking. In the three years since, he has moved on a group of underperforming and overpaid players, laying the foundation for a core built from Hale End products.
The transfer business has reflected the steps, integrating exciting youth prospects with experience and quality from around the Premier League and the world. Now, sitting top of the tree six games into the season, Edu’s next stage needs to keep Arsenal in the current positive flow.
Although transfer action was completed swiftly at the start of the window, injury concerns and further struggles with squad depth on the wings and in central midfield have left the Gunners short. Although it doesn’t immediately hamper them, with Europa League matches and an intense schedule, there is now a risk of causing more damage to the squad.
In order to tackle it, there was a late push for several wingers and Douglas Luiz most publicly on deadline day. Edu, now in charge of the long-term planning at the club, won’t be panicking and instead could see more innovative ideas arise to solve these issues.
One of them could be to make use of the loan market. As football.london have reported, with first-team minutes likely to prove hard to come by in the Premier League and Marquinhos being at a key developmental stage, the 19-year-old could leave the club in January on loan. This would allow the Brazilian to continue playing games and build on what has been an exciting start in London, but it could also leave Arteta even shorter in rotation options, especially with a view to European matches.
However, should Marquinhos leave, it does open the door to Mykhaylo Mudryk. The Ukrainian winger was one of the top targets for the club this summer and has started the season well, catching the eye with a goal and two assists in Shakhtar Donetsk’s 4-1 Champions League win against RB Leipzig.
The 21-year-old has become renowned for his assist ability, recording seven in 11 league games last season.
With depth an issue, Mudryk is likely to become a go-to winter target for Arsenal once more, and if they can earn Marquinhos some experience whilst signing a new winger, then it could leave Edu and Arteta with two of the most promising wingers in the league.