Edu says the nature of the transfer market dictated the way Arsenal attempted to offload players this summer amidst criticism that the club could have generated more revenue from sales.
Aside from the sale of Joe Willock to Newcastle for £25 million, the Gunners mostly had to settle on loaning players – six in total from the first team – with the expectation of doing permanent deals next summer.
Has the club left money on the table? Is it realistic to assume we’ll make up the shortfall in 12 months time? Time will tell. For now, the technical director is at pains to point out that the club’s hands were somewhat tied by a market coming to terms with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We found a very, very challenging window – not just for Arsenal, but for everyone,” Edu told Arsenal.com.
“If you see, there are not many teams selling around the world, there are a lot of loans with options to buy, so we did two – Matteo Guendouzi and Dinos Mavropanos – who are in that situation, with an obligation to buy as well but we worked the way the market is presenting to us as well.
“I cannot knock on the door of a club and say, ‘Listen I am selling a player’. You have to do as well what is best for the club.
“Sometimes you have to change a little bit of the direction, when you have some ideas to sell a player but it is not possible and then you have to create an opportunity to sell in the future.
“Then you loan the player and see, the way we did with Joe Willock. That is a good example for us, he went on loan, played and then the market saw a bit more and came to buy. Let’s see, maybe the next window we may be in a better position in terms of selling, but right now that is our reality.”
The Athletic (£) calculated that 10 Premier League clubs raised more from sales this summer. Given Arsenal spent circa £140 million, it’ll be interesting to see whether there’s a concerted effort to balance the books in January and when the season ends.
In a separate interview with Sky Sports – covered here, by us – Edu says he’s excited about the new-look squad and hopeful they can get the season back on track quickly.