So if recent rumours regarding Arsenal’s summer transfer activity are correct, technical director Edu Gasper overruled Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta in the final choice of available midfield targets. Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar were on Arsenal’s wanted list, with Arteta interested in the two but strongly in favour of prioritising the transfer of Aouar.
Edu preferred the steel and experience of Partey and according to the Daily Mail via L’Equipe, the Technical Director’s preference won the day. I am yet to be convinced by this story, but this is Arsenal, and having seen Raul Sanllehi run rings around the club’s hierarchy, anything’s possible.
However, Mikel Arteta and Edu have established a strong relationship that is committed to resurrecting and rebuilding the team and club and it’s doubtful that Edu, an intelligent football man, would see the sense of alienating the man tasked with leading the Gunners back to glory.
It’s more likely that the inflated valuation for Aouar priced the club out of a deal and that Edu advised Arteta that Partey’s release clause was a distinct possibility on the final day. Edu has probably entered into a verbal agreement that they will return for Aouar in a future transfer window if the money is available and if the player’s brother (Brahim) drops his outlandish demands for £10m to facilitate the deal.
If Edu did overrule Mikel Arteta, what would that mean for the manager? Well, it would suggest a lack of trust from the Kroenke’s and it will eventually lead to a wedge between the manager and the club’s technical director, and that needs to be avoided at all costs.
I’m reliably informed that there is no power struggle at the club and the two men have a joint plan going forward to reinforce in vital areas including a creative midfielder. That could be Aouar, but Arteta and Edu may also conclude that their interest is over unless the price is revised and the player removes obstacles within his entourage.