For a few years now it has felt Arsenal do not have a clear transfer strategy.
A turnover of manager from Arsene Wenger to Unai Emery and then Mikel Arteta has not helped things.
But matters were made worse due to the turnover of staff who oversaw the transfer strategy.
From the Wenger / Steve Rowley / Ivan Gazidis / Dick Law era we moved onto Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat with a bit of Francis Cagigao thrown in and then onto Edu.
Often it felt like “too many cooks” and it let to a muddled transfer strategy which led to a lot of short-term options – the likes of Sokratis, Stephan Lichtsteiner, David Luiz and Willian – coming in; as well as plenty of players that clearly were not good enough.
This summer, Edu has got a bit of stick off fans due to liking a BBQ and his family enjoying posting pictures of him on Instagram cooking food. I did not realise that enjoying family time was frowned upon.
Whilst Edu can be heavily criticised for not having players in place for the beginning of the season and our lack of sales, where he can be praised is for the actual strategy of bringing players in:
It is clear and obvious that this summers strategy – and hopefully the strategy for the long term – was to focus on players under 24 who can still improve, be moulded by the manager and have a potential sell on value.
The strategy is one which served us well in the 90s and 00s, as well as one which Borussia Dortmund have followed for many years.
Under Arteta, is is the likes of Kieran Tierney, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka who have flourished; whilst senior players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Nicholas Pepe have struggled with his demands.
“You can not teach an old dog new tricks” comes to mind.
So adding the 5 new players to Tierney, Gabriel, Smith Rowe, Saka and Martinelli shows we are looking towards the future.
That is 10 important first team players all aged 24 or under – Tierney being the “senior man” of the group.
Over the rest of this window we will hopefully replace Hector Bellerin with Emerson Royal (22, Barcelona) and might replace both strikers with a younger option.
That will leave us with just a handful of players 26 or over.
The other aspect is Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale were all desperate to join us. Pushing for a move.
Edu is building a young, exciting squad of some of the best talent in Europe. The Arsenal transfer strategy is the clearest it has been in years.
Plenty to be excited about.