Merson slams Edu for ‘lazy’ Arsenal recruitment

Date published: Wednesday 18th August 2021 11:24 - Will Ford

Edu Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Paul Merson has slammed Edu for his “lazy” recruitment at Arsenal.

The Brazilian was named as technical director at the Emirates in the summer of 2019 and is the man tasked with transfer negotiations at Arsenal.

To call his signings a mixed bag would be kind and he has received criticism from many for what is widely considered to be another poor transfer window thus far.

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And Merson says he is struggling to see what the plan is at his former club, claiming they are ‘living in the past’.

Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column: ‘It’s worrying at Arsenal. You’re still thinking: “Where are they going?”

‘Edu has come in, and the recruitment has been lazy, if I’m being honest. It’s been: “Oh, we’ll take Willian on a free… we’ll take David Luiz for cheap.”

‘I remember years ago in football, managers were judged on signings. Sometimes I think Arteta is left behind, and I’m not sure how much of a say he has got in all of this.

‘Why would you let Joe Willock go? I’m not saying he’s the answer, but he’s come through the club and is going for £25m, that sort of money isn’t going to change Arsenal. It’s not like a Harry Kane or Jack Grealish sale where you get £100m and can rebuild the team.

‘But Arsenal are prepared to pay Willian big money. Where is the future in that? It’s quick fixes. Surely Willock is a future player and for the present, and can be involved in the plan.

‘Jonny Evans is a good example. I was calling for Arsenal to sign him when he left West Brom – a very good player, who was at Man Utd at the wrong time. He would have been a success. But it felt like Arsenal didn’t sign him because he played for West Brom. ‘How can Arsenal be signing players from West Brom?’

‘My question to Edu would be: “What’s the plan?”

‘I think we got spoiled with Arsenal 20 years ago. Those days are gone. 2004 is gone. We’re all still living in the past with Arsenal. But look where they are – this is Arsenal, now.’


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