Arsene Wenger describes moment he discovered Eduardo

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Arsene Wenger says he knew he had found a "special" player when he first saw striker Eduardo play.

The Brazilian-born forward scored his first European goal against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium whilst playing for Dinamo Zagreb in 2006.

The Arsenal manager was convinced that Eduardo would be a success and decided to sign him just one season later.

“I saw him [at Emirates Stadium] and that’s where I saw that he had something special,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “With his history as well, he was a young Brazilian boy who adapted in a completely different country.

“I thought the adaptation would be easy for him to come to London. I was pleased to take him at the time. I think he was about £9 million or £10 million, which today doesn’t look a lot for a good striker of his quality.

The regret

“Zagreb had two players in their squad at that time - one was called Modric and the other Eduardo. The two have had great careers.

“The regret we had for Eduardo is of course the bad injury he got, but he was a great player. We have fond memories of him and he is still loves our club.

“Many times when I’ve seen him, he’s always spoken highly of our club. I think Zagreb at the time were a very strong team and they are back now to the level where they were at the time.”


Eduardo scored only six Premier League goals for Arsenal, but the broken leg he sustained against Birmingham City in 2008 is seen as an inflection point amongst fans.

Up until then, the Gunners seemed to be cruising towards a Premier League title triumph, but their season crumbled after they drew 2-2 at St Andrews.

The Croatia international never fully recovered from the injury, making only 13 more Premier League starts before joining Shakhtar Donetsk. Similarly, Arsenal have failed to mount a sustained title challenge since.

Special striker needed

Having scored only five goals in five games this season, Arsenal are certainly in need of a special striker at the moment. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud scored in a 2-0 win over Stoke City last weekend, but both also missed glaring opportunities to increase the lead further.

Arsenal fans urged Wenger to splash the cash on a world-class name like Karim Benzema or Edinson Cavani, but the Frenchman kept the chequebook in his pocket. 

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