Arsenal hope by having their new technical director Edu work closely with manager Unai Emery the club’s footballing philosophy will improve.
The 41-year-old Brazilian previously enjoyed a five-year association with the Gunners and was part of Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ who, in 2003/04, went an entire Premier League season unbeaten – a feat that has yet to be matched.
Edu’s return. Five key things to know…
- Edu joined Arsenal as a player from boyhood club Corinthians in 2000.
- He’d wait for his opportunity, before establishing a key role during their 2003/04 unbeaten Premier League campaign.
- Edu would leave in 2005 for Valencia having registered 15 goals across 127 appearances in all competitions.
- Since retirement, he’s gone on to work in upper-management previously serving as director of football at Corinthians.
- Edu begins a new role as Arsenal’s technical director which sees him work closely with first-team manager Unai Emery.
Since leaving Highbury, a year before the Emirates Stadium opened, he’s gone on to represent Valencia before finishing his playing career at boyhood club Corinthians.
Edu would subsequently become the club’s director of football, before linking up with Iran manager Carlos Queiroz to become his right-hand man during the 2014 World Cup finals in his native country.
Since legendary boss Wenger departed the north London outfit have been restructuring their upper-management, much of that work has been carried out by head of football Raul Sanllehi who joined from Barcelona.
Following a similar model across European and world football, Edu will act as a conduit between first team manager Unai Emery and Sanllehi, with the 127-time capped Gooner delighted with his return and chance to get started.
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“Arsenal has always had a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled to be returning to this great club in this new role. We have a strong squad and some very talented young players with fantastic people at every level. I’m looking forward to helping make a difference,” he told Arsenal’s official website.
‘Working closely with Emery’
As touched upon the expectation is for Edu to be in constant discussions with Emery who succeeded Wenger last summer. Following his appointment, the Spanish coach is still forging the first team in his image.
Much of the playing staff at Emery’s disposal at the moment was inherited from Wenger and it could take a few windows before that is reversed. Emery is no stranger to a technical director model having worked under one at Paris Saint-Germain.
The same can be said of Sanllehi who formerly worked in that role at Barcelona. Having been pleased with Edu’s return Sanllehi hopes it leads to a new era.
Welcome home, Edu 👋
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 9, 2019
“We’re very excited that Edu is joining the team. He has great experience and technical football knowledge and most importantly is a true Arsenal man. He understands the club and what we stand for to our millions of fans around the world,” he said.
“His arrival is the final and very important part of the jigsaw in our development of a new football infrastructure to take us forward. He will be working closely with Unai Emery and the first-team coaches, and will play a relevant role leading our football vision and ensuring we have – and follow – a solid philosophy through all our football activities.”