By Nick Teale

Arsène Wenger believes this season is “massive” for Eduardo.

The Arsenal manager admits “only a fool” would have been 100 per cent confident the Croatian striker was capable of returning to his best following that horrible leg break against Birmingham on February 23, 2008.

However the 26-year-old made his first Premier League start since that fateful day at the weekend following a string of niggling injuries last term. Now he’s back, Wenger feels the frontman finally has the opportunity to make his mark at Emirates Stadium.

“It is a massive season for Eduardo,” said the Frenchman. “He was out for such a long time. He is in his third season without ever having had the opportunity, until now, to prove how big a player he is.

“The strength of our team has always been that our strikers can score but they can provide as well and Eduardo is one of those so we missed him highly. We missed the 100 per cent Eduardo who is now coming back.”

Wenger confessed he was concerned that he would never see Eduardo back at his best.

“I had doubts about his injuries,” said Wenger. “Only a fool would say they had no doubt. When you see his first injury, you had to have them.

“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.”

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26 Aug 2009