Edu claims ’80 per cent’ of Arsenal squad were ‘killing’ the club when he joined

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Arsenal technical director Edu looks shocked Credit: PA Images
Arsenal technical director Edu looks shocked Credit: PA Images

Edu claims that “80 per cent” of the Arsenal squad were “killing” the club in the past before he managed to move a number of players on.

The Gunners had a number of big earners underperforming when the Brazilian arrived at the as technical director in July 2019 with the highest profile departures that of Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal now seem to have a clear transfer plan with a number of impressive signings over the past couple of summers, including Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard, Ben White, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, to name a few.

Arsenal hope to add two to greatest Premier League XI signed from the reigning champions

And Edu has admitted that in the past Arsenal had players on their books who were too comfortable and not performing for the team.

The Arsenal technical director told The Sun: “When a player’s 26 or older, has a big salary and is not performing, he’s killing you.

“In the past, 80 per cent of the squad had those characteristics and there was no chance anyone would buy them.”

Edu added: “They don’t have a transfer value and are comfortable on a long contract living in London. So we needed to clean the squad and if we had to pay some to go, I considered it an investment.

“It’s better than having them blocking the path of another player. It’s not a problem if a player has a big salary and performs. I know it’s strange to go to the board and tell them, ‘Sometimes it’s better to pay a player to leave than to keep them’.

“I realise that hurts and some people say that it’s expensive — but you have to take the problem out.”

One player who is definitely joining Arsenal for the right reasons this summer is Zinchenko with the Ukraine international revealing his love for the club from a young age.

Zinchenko said: “First of all I would like to say this is a boyhood dream come true, because I was a massive fan when I was a kid. Since Thierry Henry and young Cesc Fabregas was playing here, I was just enjoying watching those games, that Arsenal.

“And obviously I started to love this club, so I am so excited and I cannot wait to play for this amazing club. I’m ready for another challenge. I’m not here just to waste my time and the time of Arsenal because the club is always in front of everyone.

“I am here to achieve big things and I hope we can win some titles, and I hope we are going to fight for every title in which we are going to be involved. Even from the last season, I was watching The Arsenal’s games and I could smell it’s coming, you know?

“The team is growing up so quickly and I think it’s time. It’s time to do our best and to achieve something big.”


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