Thomas Partey had been part of Arsenal’s long-term planning for “six or seven months” prior to a £45 million ($58m) deal being pushed through on deadline day, Edu has revealed.
The Gunners finally landed a long-standing target as the summer transfer market prepared to close for business.
It took until the final hours of the window to get an agreement in place, but efforts behind the scenes had rumbled on for some time prior to that as the north London giants attempted to secure another important piece of their puzzle.
Technical director Edu told Arsenal’s official website of snapping up Partey: “One day I would like to show the fans how we work, or how we worked because if you saw my plan six or seven months ago when I did it with Mikel, Thomas was there already.
“So you see how many months we had to try to find the right player for the club.
“So many things to do, so many meetings, we had to see how we were going to buy the player, if we had the financial situation to buy the player, the legal process, the financial process, talk to the player, talk to the agent, so there are a lot of things around this but in the end we did it!”
Partey was the final signing of a productive window for Arsenal, with Edu encouraged by all of the additions made to Mikel Arteta’s squad.
He added: “If you see Willian, he brings us experience and a very special physicality in terms of speed. If you see Gabriel [Magalhaes], he gives us a lot of physicality and presence. Dani [Ceballos], quality. Thomas, physicality, quality and mentally he is very strong.
“But in the end if you see all these players we brought to the club, they are very good here (points to legs), but they are better here (points to head) which for me is very important because when you talk to the players, they have a lot of ambition, they are excited and they are hungry to win a title again. This, for me, is important to have in the players to not only be good here (points to legs), but good here (points to head). And they are.”
As well as bringing in fresh faces, Arsenal were also able to tie up important deals with key assets already on their books.
Edu said of agreeing fresh terms with Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and talismanic club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: “This is another good point I want to mention because normally people are talking about signing players but for me and Mikel, we dedicate our time to what we have at home.
“So we have to renew players, we have to give our respect to the players we have here, so let's do it as soon as possible.
“If you see, Martinelli was the first one we did even before the window, Bukayo was during the window and Auba was in the window as well. Those three, in my plan, was to try to get them done before the window even opened but of course there are negotiations, there are talks, there are meetings but we did it and it's an important point as well.”