Edu has confirmed Arsenal have already started planning for the summer transfer window as his side sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

The club’s sporting director’s “five-year plan” is bearing fruit much quicker than expected, with the Gunners also still in contention for the Europa League.

“It’s already started [preparation for the summer], you know what’s happening [in] the market,” Edu said. “Everybody’s working, everybody’s doing stuff, you have to plan ahead of people to be prepared, and when it gets to the summer, we are well-prepared.”

Sunday’s 3-0 win over Fulham was inspired by January addition Leandro Trossard, who registered a hat-trick of assists in the first half – the first Premier League player in history to do so in an away game – and Edu insists the former Brighton winger’s impact has been no accident.

“I was always comfortable when I go the transfer window, to make me feel really comfortable is [about] how I prepare myself and how we prepare ourselves as a club to face those challenges. The Premier League, [there are] a lot of clubs, a lot of good managers. The competition’s hard but as soon as you prepare well again you feel comfortable.

“We went into the winter period really well prepared and then we started to make important decisions. So far, it’s helping the team and everything is performing well.”

The club’s sporting director was speaking at the London Football Awards, where Mikel Arteta was crowned Manager of the Year, while Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka won Premier League Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year respectively. Aaron Ramsdale was also recognised as Goalkeeper of the Year.

Arteta has welcomed Gabriel Jesus back for the end-of-season run-in, with Arsenal further strengthened in January with the arrivals of Jorginho and Trossard.

“I think we are in the right place, in terms of planning,” Edu added. “The performance of the team the way we are doing at the moment of course is special. I see around us everybody wants to follow us, watch us, I receive a lot of messages from Brazil, from South America, it’s very nice to receive them.

“We are excited by the place we are at the moment, but we have to understand still it’s a journey. There are still things to do, we are happy to be in the moment we are now, but we have to understand there are still things in front of us.

“Every week we train, we play in the best way possible, just thinking about the next game, trying to improve ourselves. How can we be better as a squad and as individuals? At the end of the season we will see where we’re going to be, but our intention is to really live week by week, game by game, and try to be the best version possible to finish in the best way possible.”

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