Edu faces Arsenal January transfer challenge as Bukayo Sakas future hangs over sporting director


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Edu was promoted to sporting director at Arsenal, rewarded for his work in recruitment and overall success in reshaping the Gunners team with manager Mikel Arteta and his growing team of senior staff. The Brazilian faces potentially his biggest test since arriving at the club this winter.

Arsenal sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League table and know that so far injuries have been fairly kind. Despite losing Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny for an extended period, the starting squad has seen them through until the World Cup.

The January window provides an opportunity to strengthen the team and ensure the side are prepared for the second-half push toward the title. However, there remains question marks over a number of young stars whose contracts remain in focus.

READ MORE: Bukayo Saka out, Smith Rowe back – Arsenal line-up vs West Ham in Premier League restart

William Saliba, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka all have faced questions over their future. Saka and Saliba are the most pressing and both will see their deals drop to just one year remaining come to the end of the season.

Whilst the Gunners are top, and could even enter the window in the same position, Edu faces a conflict to deal with when signing players and convincing existing talent to stay. The likes of Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas famously left the club because they saw the chance to win silverware elsewhere as the Gunners weren’t able to promise quality reinforcement.

The issue facing Edu is with conversations with his players that need to be renewed, the promise that Arsenal can attract the players that will see them compete at the elite level could hang on the futures of the likes of Saka. If, as a player, you’re considering a move to Arsenal but see these stars not yet committing their future that can surely affect your mindset regarding your own enthusiasm to make a deal happen.

This seemingly cyclical issue forms a loop that Edu must overcome by breaking the chain on one side. Arguably the contracts are the simpler equation with Saka always showing his love for Arsenal and willingness to stay, Martinelli meanwhile has said publicly he just needs a pen to sign on to commit his future.

Links to the likes of Mykhaylo Mudryk and Danilo persist, if Edu can pull off a major early window coup, that could be the catalyst to show Saka and company the seriousness of Arsenal. What follows has the potential to be quite special for Arsenal.


Read more – Football.London

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