Former-Arsenal striker Eduardo believes selling Robin van Persie and Alex Song was a “big mistake”.

Arsene Wenger has seen club captain Robin van Persie depart from rivals Manchester United, while Alex Song has joined ex-Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas at Barcelona.

And the Croatian forward – who played for the Gunners from 2007 to 2010 – thinks selling their two top players will prove to be a bad move, although he insists Arsenal can still compete for silverware this season.

“It’s a big mistake to sell them – they were the most important players last season,” Eduardo told BBC Sport.

“But they have other quality players to stay as a big club at the top.”

In the last two seasons, the Emirates Stadium club have sold Fabregas, van Persie, Song and Samir Nasri – four of the team’s most consistent performers.

And Eduardo believes it will be difficult for Wenger to improve upon their third placed Premier League finish unless their transfer policy changes.

“Every player comes to Arsenal as a simple player and Arsenal make them into a big player. But they can’t keep everyone together to fight for titles,” said the Croatian.

“Every year it’s similar – they lose players, buy players, make them class players and the next year they sell again. They are always in the same place.”

The Gunners started the season in underwhelming fashion, drawing 0-0 at home to Sunderland. But Eduardo sees Arsenal finishing in the top four again next season.

“Van Persie and Song were the key players last season,” said the Shaktar striker. “They held the team. When you lose players like that, your chance of finishing in the top four is less. But Arsenal still have a good team and I’m confident they will do well.”

As for Eduardo’s own future, the Croatian admits a return to the Emirates Stadium does appeal.

“It would be nice if they wanted me to join again, but it’s not the kind of thing I’m thinking about. If I played for Arsenal now I could score some important goals from nothing – in games like Sunderland, when it’s 0-0 and you score the only goal.”

“I can give you a lot of important points. I think Arsenal are missing some players like that.”

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