By Declan Taylor
Eduardo has sent out an ominous warning to Premier League defences by declaring: “I am ready”.
The Brazil-born striker completed his first 90 minutes since last February when he lined up for Arsenal Reserves in their 2-2 draw against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday night.
After hitting the post in his first ‘comeback’ match against Portsmouth Reserves in December, the Croatian international went even closer against the Potters but saw his 87th-minute strike ruled out for offside.
Despite that minor disappointment, the 25-year-old is delighted with his progress and is confident that it will not be long until he finds the net again.
“The goal is coming,” Eduardo told Arsenal.com. “I am happy because I have got the chances, and that is not easy. Only when I get a chance can I finish it.
“It has been a long time since I’ve played 90 minutes and now I feel better knowing that I can play a whole game. I feel much stronger than I have and I am very happy now
“The plan against Portsmouth Reserves was to play an hour but we decided with the small injury that I should go off because of the risk in continuing the game. But I am happy now, I played 45 minutes of that game which was good for my confidence.”
The next step now of course is turning out for the first team again and Eduardo has no doubts that he is ready.
“I think I am ready for the first team but you would have to ask the boss,” the striker said. “I feel very well and I’m training hard every day. Of course I want to come back quick and strong. Now, every game for me is a big step.
“In my head and everything I am ready. I am happy with the 90 minutes tonight on a very hard pitch with all the hard rain. I needed time in the Reserves to get my match fitness back.
“But playing my first game for the first team, I am ready now and I am just waiting for my chance.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Jan 2009