“For every single name I can explain to you the reasons” Edu Gaspar discusses his view of Arsenal’s summer
Arsenal’s big summer
Arsenal signed six players this summer, culminating in a deadline day swoop for Takehiro Tomiyasu, as they looked to overhaul their squad on the back of back to back eighth-placed finishes.
Welcome to The Arsenal, Takehiro Tomiyasu 🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/trL4Wq7zXW
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 31, 2021
Beyond Tomiyasu, the Gunners added Aaron Ramsdale (goalkeeper), Nuno Tavares (left-back), Sambi Lokonga (central midfielder), Ben White (centre-back), while Martin Odegaard rejoined the club from Real Madrid.
But still, some Arsenal fans were not happy with the business done, with several feeling that more needed to be done to help them fight their way back into the European spots.
✍️ Our 2021/22 summer signings…
Swipe for a timeline, Gooners 👇#WeAreTheArsenal 🔴
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 3, 2021
Edu reveals all to Sky Sports
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, technical director Edu Gaspar, in charge of the summer planning, sat down with Geoff Shreeves to discuss the window, the plan, and what to expect this season.
Edu was first asked about the strategy, and whether he could understand external frustrations, to which he replied:
Yes, I understand the reason because firstly, they have not seen the team playing together yet. That’s one of the reasons but I think we have to see the wider context than just to see the money around it.
“We signed six players who are under 23, which means a lot in terms of our planning. 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.
“Why did we do that? Because we have a reason to try again to create a good foundation and then, one day, maybe we are going to sign one or two players only. But after that, it’s impossible to sign one or two players only because we have a lot to do.
🗣 “I’m really looking forward to seeing this team play together.”
Arsenal’s technical director Edu says he and Mikel Arteta believes this current team can have a really good season pic.twitter.com/Wk1q0ycqFa
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 4, 2021
“We have to balance the squad better. We have to recruit the players with the right characteristics and the right profile to make the squad better, more solid and much more consistent because last season we suffered with consistency.
“Now, I want to give Mikel Arteta and the board a much better squad.”
Edu was also quizzed on the need to bring in back-ups such as Lokonga, Tavares and Ramsdale, to which he argued:
“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.
Edu exclusive: Arsenal transfer policy, his role and Mikel Arteta 👇🏻https://t.co/3HhtbPrOo7
— Oliver Yew (@OliverYew) September 4, 2021
“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.”
“To create a good foundation, you need time.” ⏰
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Arsenal technical director Edu defends the club’s transfer policy after their poor start to the season and talks about his own role and that of Mikel Arteta…⬇
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 4, 2021
Finally, he revealed that, ultimately, the buck stops with him:
“Talking about my role, I understand the pressure. I understand the pressure on me, Mikel, the board and the club because the situation we are in now is not acceptable.
“But, now is the moment for everybody to be together and I would like to see people step forward in difficult moments and take the responsibility.
“I am responsible for what we are doing.”
Will it prove to be a successful summer for the Gunners, or will Edu’s job be on the line come next spring?