Edu watched on as London rival transfer chief Marina Granovskaia was crowned the best club director in European football at the Golden Boy awards organised by Italian newspaper Tuttosport.
The Chelsea director has drawn up the blueprints to being a successful negotiator since joining the Blues board in 2013. Securing high-profile arrivals like Diego Costa while also engineering unimaginable mouth-watering fees for fringe players.
Granovskaia’s success has fuelled Chelsea to Premier League titles and even Champions League glory, so Josh Kroenke needs to react and follow suit, should the Gunners look to reap similar rewards.
The Blues chief takes charge of player transactions and contracts, using her experience in the European market to engineer clever deals to secure small financial wins which eventually amount to title-deciding acquisitions.
Edu’s knowledge of the European market is far from optimal for a side in pursuit of Champions League football but the former Gunner has already begun to show signs of emulating Granovskaia’s success.
The overpayment of Nicolas Pepe and the free transfer of Willian in Edu’s honeymoon period isn’t to shout about but they taught him a valuable lesson.
Knowing your market has been a requisite in Granovskaia’s success at Stamford Bridge, signing the likes of various first-team players which have propelled Chelsea to an abundance of silverware and Edu must take note.
Arsenal have spent approximately £87 million on players – Nicolas Pepe, Pablo Mari, David Luiz, Willian and Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson – who have either severely underperformed in accordance with their price tag or wage, not at the club or just don’t play.
While the majority of that fee stems from the extortionate signing of Pepe, who at the very most had enjoyed just two promising seasons of senior football in Ligue 1, the principle of Edu not being aware of his market still stands.
However, transfer mistakes do happen and clubs can be hit with significant financial losses but it remains the sporting director’s job to salvage the finances.
Granovskaia once sealed the signings of Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko for sizeable sums however her work that followed is what separates Chelsea from Arsenal.
The Blues were able to recuperate the entirety of either fee spent on the duo through clever loan fees and world-class negotiating – unfortunately, Edu hasn’t been able to tap into that market regarding the inevitable losses that could incur from Pepe one day.
Granovskaia has always been hot on contracts at Stamford Bridge, so when an anomaly slipped through the net in the shape of Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s transfer chief was able to act swiftly and secure a sizeable fee for a player who had just one year left on their deal.
Edu, again, has proved the gulf in class between himself and Granovskaia as Alexandre Lacazette edges closer to leaving the Gunners on a free.
The 30-year-old striker’s potential departure marks a harrowing polarity between the functioning of Chelsea’s and Arsenal’s transfer window operations.
Granovskaia’s latest award is no mean feat and it should send Kroenke a stern message heading into January. A message that could not only revitalise the Gunners’ profits but also succeed on the biggest stage.