Arsenal chief Edu told 'most important thing' he needs to do before new season

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Arsenal chief Edu told
Arsenal chief Edu told 'most important thing' he needs to do before new season

Former Arsenal star Ray Parlour has been impressed by ex-colleague Edu's work as the Gunners' transfer chief, but recognises the Brazilian still needs to sort more comings and goings this summer.

Edu, like Parlour, was part of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' squad which went unbeaten under Arsene Wenger for the entire 2003-04 Premier League season. The sporting director, 45, returned to North London in 2019 and has been instrumental in building the squad under Mikel Arteta in recent years.

After an impressive second-place finish last term, Arteta has added Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz to his ranks with the support of Edu. Parlour, however, knows his former team-mate has some more work to do to offload players who remain surplus to requirements.

"I speak to Edu and he can't give too much away because it's very confidential what they're trying to do, but I know for a fact he wants to get a few players out, three or four players who are probably not going to feature," said Parlour, who was speaking to Mirror Football courtesy of NetBet Online Casino "They're all on good contracts so it's sometimes difficult to do that, but I'm sure he's working very hard on doing that.

"If the players can agree to leave and go to other clubs then maybe there is room for another player coming in, but I don't know who - I'm sure he's been keeping tabs on everyone. He's a good lad, Edu, and I think the most important thing now is to get three or four players out of the club and probably release a bit of money that way."

Mikel Arteta's dream Arsenal line up as last-gasp January transfers are secured eideziqkeiqhhinvMikel Arteta's dream Arsenal line up as last-gasp January transfers are secured

Arsenal have already offloaded senior players Granit Xhaka, Pablo Mari and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, while Matt Smith is one of the higher-profile academy starlets to depart. Others have been linked with permanent exits after spending last season out on loan, such as former record signing Nicolas Pepe, but Arsenal still have the best part of a month to do the remainder of their business.

What else do Arsenal need to do this summer? Have your say in the comments section

Arsenal chief Edu told 'most important thing' he needs to do before new seasonRay Parlour met up with former team-mate Edu during Arsenal's US tour (David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Edu was just 23 when he joined Arsenal from Corinthians in what was his first foray into European football. The midfielder was on the Gunners' books when he made his senior Brazil debut, and while Parlour didn't immediately anticipate the Sao Paulo-born star's post-playing role he has been impressed so far.

"You never know with players - some players who are coaches I never thought they'd be a coach, and it's just what road you want to go down," Parlour said of his former team-mate. "Edu's got a lot of contacts, especially around Europe and Brazil, and he's seemed to fit in perfectly from Arsenal's point of view because he's an ex-player, he's been in dressing rooms which have been very successful, which is always good.

"He knows the sort of characters you probably need if you're going to be successful. He's done a brilliant job so far, the club are obviously backing the manager now and Edu and Mikel are working very hard together to try and get the players they want. I'm sure if they can get a few players out, which is sometimes difficult, then they might be looking at just one or two more players to come in."

Arsenal continue to be linked with players in a number of positions. Among the players mentioned is Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, also a target for Bayern Munich, while Napoli's Kvicha Kvaratskhelia and Crystal Palace's Michael Olise have both been linked as Arteta seeks attacking reinforcements.

"David is a Brentford player so far and I haven’t been told anything different," Brentford boss Thomas Frank told BBC Sport when asked about Raya. "It’s an open secret that we are willing to sell him for the right amount. He’s training hard and a good professional.

"Right now he’s at the club and then we will find the best to do. I think it’s natural that he would like to leave if it’s a good opportunity for him. We all think it’s a good idea at the right price. That probably means going towards that and focusing on the other keepers we have, I think that is completely natural."

Tom Victor

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