What do we know about Arsenal’s new signing?
There was a big relief for Arsenal supporters yesterday with the news that the club have signed Brazilian-born Croatian international striker Eduardo da Silva from Dinamo Zagreb. With names like Carlos Tevez, Obafemi Martins, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Fernando Torres being thrown around manager Arsenal Wenger stayed true to form by signing a player who is virtually unknown outside of Croatia for a reported £8 million.
So, what do we actually know about Arsenal’s new signing? I’ve compiled a list of some interesting facts and figures about da Silva to give you some insight into the club’s newest addition. Enjoy!
All about Arsenal’s Crozilian
- He is a 24-year-old striker with lightning speed and a poacher’s instinct in front of goal.
- Da Silva was the first player to score at Emirates Stadium. He netted a fine goal for Dinamo Zagreb in their 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the Champions League qualifying tie early last season.
- The Brazilian-born player scored a Croatian record 34 goals in 32 games last season, smashing the previous record of 29.
- He has netted six goals so far for Croatia in Euro 2008 qualifiers, and seven in twelve games all up for the national team. One of those was of course a fine looping header scored against England.
- He has a typically crazy Brazilian nickname in ‘Dudu’.
Have Arsenal found their fox in the box?
So there you have it. Judging from his career statistics with Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatian national team it would seem Wenger has brought in da Silva with the intention of providing a real goalscorer to compliment an Arsenal squad already brimming with creative attackers. Although da Silva is not the name that Arsenal supporters would’ve expected I have to say that I am most excited about the prospect of the Croatian smacking in some goals against Manchester United and Chelsea defenders who – like most others – will be pretty clueless to da Silva’s style of play.
Indeed, Croatian national team manager Slaven Bilic has assured Arsenal supporters that da Silva has the potential to replace outgoing captain Thierry Henry if they remain patient.
“Eduardo can replace Thierry Henry but the Arsenal fans need to give him time. Zagreb did not want to sell their captain. The president of the club told me he had received much bigger offers from teams in Russia and the Ukraine for da Silva. He resisted them all but when Arsenal called, I told him ‘how can you deny the boy this dream?’ This is Arsenal Football Club, one of the most respected and famous clubs in the world. He couldn’t do it to Da Silva and reluctantly agreed to sell.”
No reason not to believe Bilic
I must say that I’ve been impressed with Bilic since he took over as Croatian manager and I’m sure these latest comments will endear him to a lot of Arsenal fans. He has got a relatively modest squad into a strong position to qualify for Euro 2008 and if he believes his attacking focal point can succeed in England with Arsenal then I don’t think there is any reason not to believe him. He was also responsible for some classic comments about England’s World Cup performances. And whilst the general feeling amongst Arsenal supporters is that Wenger may have finally found his fox-in-the-box, Bilic is quick to stress there is more to da Silva than just his ability to poach goals.
“Eduardo scores great goals but that is not all he can do. He can open space for other players in the team. Last season he had the most assists in the Croatian League. Arsenal fans will be delighted with him, I am sure of it.”
What do you think?
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