Former Spurs striker Darren Bent has blasted Arsenal director Edu so far for the Gunners’ decisions that have been made during the summer transfer window, which have contributed to a poor start to the 2021/22 campaign.
Arsenal opened up their Premier League campaign with a disappointing defeat to newcomers Brentford, as Sergi Canos’ strike and Christian Norgaard’s header was enough to heap pressure on manager Mikel Arteta ahead of a crucial London derby on the weekend against Champions League winners Chelsea.
‘Arteta Out’ was trending straight after the final whistle, but Bent believes that a lot of the blame should be directed elsewhere, as there is one man in particular that the 37-year-old is not happy with.
“Arteta is struggling, a lot of the players aren’t playing for him,” Bent told talkSPORT. “But I believe a lot of the blame has to go upstairs as well.
“I think Edu has got a lot to answer for in terms of recruitment and I think he is to blame for a lot of the decisions as well.
“And I think it’s a mess at the very top, and that just filters down.”
Suggestions that star duo Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are vying for a move away from the club before the end of the transfer window hint at player unrest, and Bent believes that the Spaniard’s time is running out at the Emirates Stadium.
“Of course Arteta at times has shown that he is capable of managing the club and getting them over the line,” Bent added. “But when you have got the players not playing for you anymore, your time is kind of limited.
“This is because going into the first game of the season and no Aubameyang or Lacazette, he says they are ill and move on – there is obviously an issue there.
“Even some of the decisions being made in terms of giving Granit Xhaka a new contract – listen, I was one of those people who said once he threw his shirt down that he should never play for the club again.
“But fair play to him, he worked his way back and got himself back in the team.
“But when you have got the chance to clear out the deadwood – and yes I know he had a good Euros – but you’ve got to move on.”
Bent also believes a mistake has been made over the decision to allow Joe Willock to move on a permanent transfer to Newcastle for £25million.
“You’ve got Joe Willock for an instance, that was one of the decisions that frustrated me because you had a player there who ended the season for Newcastle absolutely brilliantly,” Bent stated.
“He may not be your starter but get him in and around your squad. I think he did enough at the back-end of last season to carry the confidence into this one.
“But you [Edu] decided to keep Xhaka and Elneny – those decisions just don’t make sense.
The transfer window is in full swing and things are beginning to ramp up with Edu and Mikel Arteta’s dealings at the Emirates.
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“If you want to get better, these kind of players have got to move on.”
Arsenal have so far signed three players this summer in Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ben White and Nuno Tavares with only White and Lokonga featuring in the starting line up against the Bees, though Tavares was introduced from the bench.
football.london understands that a backup goalkeeper and another attacking midfielder are the priorities for Edu before the window slams shut on August 31.
The likes of Aaron Ramsdale, James Maddison and Martin Odegaard have been touted as possible options, but the Brazilian has yet to agree a fee with any of those players’ clubs with only 14 days remaining for clubs to conclude their business.