When Tottenham splashed out 17 million for Darren Bent, Arsenal fans laughed and chants of “What a waste of money!” rang out to all corners of North London. The opposite of the Wenger system of turning bargain players into stars.
“Be careful what you wish for…”, goes the saying.
For an undisclosed sum, probably because it’s a pittance (or, 16 bloody million), Arsene Wenger has secured the services for 24 year old Brazil-born Croatian International Eduardo da Silva, or Dudu as he is affectionately known (keep that one in the headline locker tabloids) from Dinamo Zagreb. The fact that he’s already decided to not even bother competing for a spot in the Brazilian squad probably isn’t the best start.
He is ace in FM, so let’s get that out of the way first. He is also nothing if not prolific, in the Croatian league he was top scorer with 34 goals, a great return and an even better one when you consider there are only 33 games in a full season. However, that whole ‘Croatian League’ bit may have something to do with it, with some claiming that it’s harder to score in some kind of whorehouse full of free whores who haven’t been whoring in a while.
His arrival brings up the old debate around the Emirates last season, and especially following Thierry Henry’s departure – is it better to buy big, a player who has already seen it and done it in the top leagues or to unearth and nuture a young talent who is hungry for success. The proverbial “Big Name” versus the “Wonderkid”.
Sadly, da Silva is actually neither since he’s 24 years old already, but he’s talented and unproven at the highest level – Wenger’s favourite combination for creating a superstar. And, whether his manager intended or not, his performances next season will be held against Thierry Henry’s by media, fans and rivals alike.
Good luck with that…