Emerton: Cruz exit will not leave us exposed

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Football News

Blackburn midfielder Brett Emerton insists the departure of striker Roque Santa Cruz to Manchester City will not have a detrimental effect on the squad.

The Paraguay international completed a long-anticipated £17million transfer to Eastlands on Monday having expressed his desire to leave Ewood Park in December.

Emerton told the Lancashire Telegraph: "I am sure the squad will be full of confidence at the way we finished the season, it was European form, and with players coming back and a few new signings it will be like a new start."

Santa Cruz struggled with injury last season and played just 11 matches in 2009, being sidelined completely from early March. It was in stark contrast to his maiden campaign with Rovers the previous year when he scored 23 goals.

The sale of striker Matt Derbyshire to Olympiacos on Wednesday means manager Sam Allardyce needs to strengthen his attacking options but Emerton is not concerned.

"Roque has been fantastic for Blackburn Rovers," said the Australia midfielder, who is confident of being fit for the start of the season having ruptured a cruciate knee ligament in January.

"He is a great player and a great guy and we will miss him but these things happen in football, players come and players go

"If you look at how the team finished last season, they did it without the injured Roque and without Matt Derbyshire.

"You also had players like myself, Steven Reid and David Dunn who were injured."

Derbyshire's four-year deal with the Greek champions was completed on Wednesday.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Brett Emerton
Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Roque Santa Cruz
David Dunn
Steven Reid
Matt Derbyshire

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