“Edu will coordinate the work of our first-team coaching group, the academy and player scouting and recruitment,” Arsenal said in a statement.
Edu has already left his role as general coordinator for the Brazilian Football Confederation after the team won the Copa America on home soil.
The 41-year-old, a member of Arsenal’s unbeaten Premier League winning squad in 2003/04, will become the club’s first ever sporting director as they continue to modernise their recruitment structure following the departure of Arsene Wenger last year.
“His arrival is the final and very important part of the jigsaw in our development of a new football infrastructure to take us forward,” said Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi.
“He will be working closely with Unai Emery and the first-team coaches, and will play a relevant role leading our football vision.”
Edu played under Arsenal manager Emery at Valencia and believes the future is bright for the club despite failing to qualify for the Champions League for three seasons in a row.
“Arsenal has always had a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled to be returning to this great club in this new role,” he said.
“We have a strong squad and some very talented young players with fantastic people at every level. I’m looking forward to helping make a difference.”