Rio Ferdinand makes 'remarkable' Edu comment amid Arsenal title ridicule warning

Arsenal Chief Executive Vinai Venkatesham with sporting director Edu before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal sporting director Edu has been praised by Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand for the work he has done in helping to turn the Gunners into genuine title challengers.

Mikel Arteta’s team have been challenging Manchester City at the top of the Premier League for the last two seasons. After falling off at the end of the 2022/23 campaign, they have maintained the challenge this time around and are still in with a realistic chance of lifting the trophy after the final match of the season.

The Gunners currently sit at the top of the table but are a game ahead of Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side will leapfrog them if they win their games against Fulham and Tottenham over the next few days.

The position Arsenal find themselves in is a far cry from just a few seasons ago. At the end of the 2021/22 campaign, the club finished in fifth 24 points behind City.

It’s the work that has gone on behind the scenes, including recruitment that should get just as much praise as the job that manager Arteta has done, according to Ferdinand. The former defender also outlined why he hopes Arsenal do win their first title since 2004.

“Arsenal, I respect so much what Arsenal are about, what they’ve done, and where they’ve come from to where they are now,” he said on his FIVE podcast. “They’ve still got to get over that final hurdle, but you can’t underestimate what Edu and the hierarchy behind Mikel Arteta have done, it’s been an absolutely remarkable, fabulous job they’ve done and I respect it.

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“I just want you to win the league now, so that people can’t ridicule you and your fans can’t be ridiculed for the way they react to certain results and runs, etc.”

This summer saw Arsenal sign Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and David Raya. All three have had a big impact on the team during the campaign.