After years of playing under legendary Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, you would’ve thought that Edu and Mikel Arteta had learned something about player signings, but last summer showed the opposite.
Yes, it’s probably not fair to single out one bad move, but it is important for the new chiefs at Arsenal to know what’s right and what’s wrong. To do so, they will need to follow some of the golden rules set by the former Gunners boss.
One such rule is not handing out long-term contracts to players above the age of 32, especially to those who play in midfield or in attack.
Wenger said in 2010, as per The Guardian: “Yes, unfortunately, that is the rule here. It’s not over 30, it’s over 32. So when you have a player [who is] 32, he will just get a one-year contract.
“It depends on the positions as well. If [it is] a central defender, then no problem to sign them until 34. But a striker is different. After 32 you go from year to year. A midfielder as well, after 32 you go from year to year.”
Arsenal did the opposite with Willian last summer knowing very well that it was a huge gamble. Sadly, it hasn’t worked it and it is proving to be one of the worst pieces of business done by the Gunners in a long, long time.
Edu and Arteta’s Willian gamble has backfired
After just 12 months at the club, both Arsenal and Willian are looking to end things. The difficult part here is that the Brazilian still has two years left on his deal at the Emirates, which makes it difficult for either party to buy out the contract.
Arsenal will surely look for a transfer fee to let him leave as well, which complicates things even further, especially after how poor Willian has been in the Premier League since the start of the season.
If Wenger was still at Arsenal last year, there’s no way Willian would’ve been at the club, definitely not on a three-year deal at least. Gooners will be hoping that Edu and Arteta have learnt their lessons now, but only time will tell if they actually have.