Arsenal appoint Edu as technical director

Former midfielder returns to club after general coordinator role with Brazil

Arsenal have appointed Edu as their technical director. Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal have appointed Edu as their technical director. Photo: Getty Images

 

Arsenal have confirmed the return of their former midfielder Edu as technical director.

Edu has served as the general coordinator to Brazil, who won the Copa América on Sunday. But Brazil have announced that Juninho, the former Middlesbrough midfielder, will move into that role, freeing Edu to leave.

Arsenal said Edu would be responsible for coordinating the first-team coaching group, the academy and scouting and recruitment. He will go to the United States on Thursday as part of the club’s pre-season tour.

The head of football, Raúl Sanllehí, described Edu as “a true Arsenal man” and 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.”

Arsenal have been keen to appoint a technical director as they look to sharpen on recruitment while they contend with reduced budgets because of their absence from the Champions League, which is into a third season.

They passed over Sven Mislintat – then the head of the recruitment – causing him to quit and moved instead for Monchi only for him to decide against taking the post at the last moment and rejoin Sevilla.

Edu played for Arsenal between 2001 and 2005 and was a part of the famed Invincibles team. He is believed to have recommended Gabriel Martinelli to the club; the 18-year-old Brazilian winger signed from Ituano last week.

Edu said he was “thrilled” to be back at Arsenal and added: “I’m looking forward to helping make a difference.”

Héctor Bellerín is ahead of schedule in his recovery from the cruciate knee ligament rupture that he suffered in January and he hopes to be back in action for Arsenal before the end of September.

The full-back collapsed in agony during his team’s 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea on January 19th and scans also revealed there was extensive damage to the meniscus in the joint. Bellerín underwent surgery in Spain and he was told that he faced nine months out of action – which would have meant a comeback date on or around October 19th.

But Bellerín made quick progress at the start of his rehabilitation – he healed well after the operation and there were no infections – and he has remained ahead of the curve, so much so that he has earmarked the visit of Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium on September 22nd for his comeback. – Guardian

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