By Declan Taylor
Arsène Wenger admits that he did not expect Eduardo to hit top gear so soon.
The Croatian scored probably his best goal for Arsenal, volleying home after 51 minutes of their 3-0 victory over Burnley on Sunday.
Of course that strike came after Eduardo notched a fine brace in his comeback match against Cardiff last month. Both performances prove that he is nearing his best already, according to Wenger.
“I didn’t expect him to [come back so quickly] because he was out for so long,” said the manager in Sunday’s post-match press conference. “His finishing today was exceptional.”
“You can understand now why he kissed the fitness coach [Tony Colbert] for two reasons. One, to thank him for working hard and two, because he doesn’t see him anymore.
“That goal shows that finishing is instinct. In a fraction of a second you consider the right surface, the flight of the ball and his position.”
Eduardo’s spectacular volley was likened to famous strikes by the likes of Johann Cruyff and Dennis Bergkamp. However, the manager thinks that his 12-month lay-off makes it too early in his Arsenal career for comparisons.
“In fairness, we have not seen enough of him to really judge who he will be,” Wenger said.
“Last year it took him a few months to get in there. Then he scored goals but got quickly injured. He looks more mature than when he arrived in his game.”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 9 Mar 2009