Mikel Arteta faces a transfer dilemma should Arsenal shortlist former Tottenham starlet Marcus Edwards ahead of winger move..
Marcus Edwards captured the eyes of European football fans on Tuesday as he ripped apart his former side Tottenham Hotspur. Dribbling in and out of the Spurs defence, Edwards could have scored one of the goals of the tournament so far.
With Arsenal in need of reinforcement in the wide area, suggestions that Mikel Arteta should pay attention to Edwards grew exponentially. Being a former Spurs player, the added narrative behind any move writes itself.
However, Edwards’ exit from Spurs came after a history of reported attitude issues. The Arsenal manager has worked hard to overhaul the squad with players such as Matteo Guendouzi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang moved on due to disciplinary-related problems.
Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino described Edwards in his book as having “behavioural issues and problems with authority” in his book. The Argentine was head coach when Edwards was coming through the academy and was not the only one to speak of problems with his mindset.
In 2018, then Norwich City boss Daniel Farke raised concerns about Edwards’ attitude. Highlighting the reason why Spurs had not yet given him a chance at that stage.
“There is no pressure on this signing. If it works, we can have some fun with him. If not, it is more a problem for Marcus,” the German said.
“There is no doubt with the ball he is one of our best players. But without it, he has to grow up a bit. That was the reason he didn’t play for Tottenham.
“They have a good squad, but he is still one of the best there with the ball. He has to be more grown up in his attitude.”
Edwards felt his time at Norwich was perceived unfairly. Although he has since admitted he felt he had grown up more and improved his attitude since then.
“I feel as though, once Daniel Farke said it out loud, that is when I got misunderstood a bit. Because I felt I had already grown up.
“I thought I was already grown up, and all the attitude stuff, that was when I was going through the academy. When I hit 19, I felt I was a bit more mature. That’s why I feel I was misunderstood.”
“I definitely think I’ve got a better attitude now. I’m just ready to kick on with my career. I think I needed this year. I know I’m a good player, I know I can do what I want to do. It has made me have a clear vision of what I want in football. I just want to get as high up to the top level as I can.”
Would Mikel Arteta take a chance on a player whose history of attitude problems has plagued his younger years? Potentially.
Arteta has given second chances to the likes of Granit Xhaka. The Spaniard arrived after the Swiss looked determined to leave after having the captaincy stripped from him following a now infamous incident against Crystal Palace.
That said, this season Arteta is getting the best football from Xhaka potentially in his entire career. Despite the aforementioned Guendouzi and Aubameyang not surviving Arteta’s cull, this isn’t to say that he won’t give opportunities to players with a history of controversies.
Despite this, however, Edwards remains yet to see a concrete link to the Gunners. At present Mykhaylo Mudryk and Pedro Neto are the most recently reportedly linked players and with the Ukrainian, in particular, having a strong UCL group stage, this is unlikely to change at the moment.
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