If there’s one criticism of Arsenal technical director Edu Gaspar, it’s his preference of football agents over experienced scouts.
The Brazilian was blasted by fans, pundits and the media for sacking the club’s scouting network last summer. Arsenal faced a ton of backlash after Edu’s decision, but he has remained adamant that it is the way to move forward.
That outburst further increased when Edu used his connections with Kia Joorabchian to extend David Luiz’s contract and sign Willian from Chelsea on a three-year deal last summer.
Those criticisms have died down in the last few months and Edu is able to do his job like he wants to. However, there will be more moans as we near the start of the transfer window, which if a latest report is to be believed, is unwarranted.
The English FA released details of fees paid by all the Premier League clubs to agents between 01 February 2020 and 01 February 2021. The records show that Edu’s authorised payments to intermediaries aren’t anywhere near as high as the other top clubs.
Chelsea top the list having paid a staggering £35 million to agents. The two Manchester clubs – City and United – have paid £30 million and £29 million respectively, while Liverpool paid £21 million over the last year.
Arsenal’s next-door neighbours Tottenham come in next having spent £16.5 million – just about £70,000 more than Edu has in the same period.
The Insider’s View:
The records show that the criticism on Edu for his deals are slightly unfair.
However, his decision to get rid of our magnificent scouting department – which helped sign gems like Matteo Guendouzi, Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin and the rest – is still questionable.
Edu’s job as our technical director has mostly been excellent so far. The upcoming summer transfer window will arguably be his most important one, and if he can get the players Mikel Arteta demands – through his links with agents or otherwise – he will silence all of his doubters.