Arsenal transfer chief Edu’s gaffe in negotiations which could now cost Gunners millions

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Arsenal chief Edu may have pulled off some good transfer business in the past such as Kieran Tierney, Gabriel and Martin Odegaard – but more often than not he has produced some deals which have not paid dividends such as the signings of Willian, William Saliba and, recently, Dinos Mavropanos.

Edu, a former Arsenal great who won two Premier League titles in his time at Highbury, joined Arsenal’s backroom staff in the summer of 2019 as Technical Director.

Overseeing the recruitment side of the club, Edu has had a mixed time in north London since taking up the role, with mixed success in the transfer market.

But there is one player who he may live to regret more than most having practically given him away for free in Mavropanos.

The Greek defender, just 23, joined Arsenal from homeland side PAS Giannina as a 19-year-old in 2018.

For a fee of just under £2million, there was no real risk with Mavropanos as Arsenal tried to develop him into a first-team player.

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And that he did sporadically, making seven first-team appearances across the two years as he learned the ropes at London Colney, patiently waiting for a first-team chance.

In a bid to gain game-time, Mavropanos was loaned to FC Nurnberg and VfB Stuttgart, where he impressed and made 21 league appearances last season in the Bundesliga for the Baden-Wurttemberg based outfit.

However, this is where things have gone wrong. Such was his success in Stuttgart, Arsenal decided to loan Mavropanos out there again with just twelve months left on his contract and a £3m buy-out clause – where he has excelled to new levels of unforeseen talent.

With a market value of £5m according to Transfermarkt after some seriously impressive performances at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Edu must be looking back on his gaffe with total regret.

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Of course, Stuttgart could let the Athens-born defender’s contract run out and pick him up on a free at the end of the season.

And club manager Sven Mislintat has put those rumours to bed, suggesting Mavropanos will become a Stuttgart player at the end of his deal.

“We actually had two great goals from centre backs today,” club manager Sven Mislintat said after their 3-1 win over local rivals Hoffeinheim.

“‘Kempfi’ [Marc Oliver Kempf] is our best scorer at this point and ‘Dino’ [Mavropanos] exemplifies what this team is – always working and improving in search of the win.

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“We have an obligatory purchase option of €3 million if we remain in the league.

“There’s also a free option if we get relegated. In both instances, we have the opportunity to take him.

“I think it’s relatively clear what will happen with him.”

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