Wenger: Eduardo set for 'massive season'

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes this will be a "massive season" for Croatia striker Eduardo.

Following the best part of a year out of the game after an horrific leg injury suffered at Birmingham in February 2008, Eduardo opened his account for the new campaign in the 6-1 Barclays Premier League win at Everton on the opening day.

"Eduardo was one of the players we missed terribly because he can score goals and provide," said Wenger. "It is a massive season for Eduardo because he was out for such a long time - he was out before he could prove what a big player he is."

The centre-forward looks set for a start in Wednesday night's Champions League qualifier second leg against Celtic, with the Gunners boss ready to rest Robin van Persie.

Wenger added: "In the first season for the first six months, he did not play a lot. When he then came in and showed his class, he was then injured and lost a whole season.

"Now he is in the third season, without having the opportunity until now to prove how good he is."

Wenger admitted he was relieved to see the forward back in action.

"I had doubts about his injuries and only fools would say they had no doubt," he reflected.

"When you see his first injury, you had to have doubts, but he has shown his strength of character - and now I have no doubts any more about him because for me he is completely a normal player."

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas will not be fit for Wednesday's game, which the Gunners lead 2-0. The Spain international is recovering from a hamstring problem, but scans have revealed only minor damage so he is back in contention to return for Saturday's showdown at Manchester United.

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Robin Van Persie
European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
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