By Richard Clarke
While Porto may have the Hulk, they have lost a super-hero in Quaresma, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Portuguese champions arrive at Emirates Stadium this evening for the second game of Group G. In the build-up much has been made of Brazilian striker Givanildo Vieira de Souza, who supposedly resembles the cartoon character. His record of 37 goals in 44 appearances in the Japanese League certainly smacks of danger for the home side.
However, for Wenger, the sale of winger Quaresma to Inter could be more influential. The 25-year-old moved to Italy in the summer after 25 goals in 114 appearances plus numerous assists. The Portuguese international nearly dumped Arsenal out of the Champions League at the group stages in 2006 but his drive cannoned back off the post and the visitors went through with a 0-0 draw on Matchday Six.
Quaresma was by far the most dangerous player on the night so it was unsurprising that Wenger described his loss as “massive” when he spoke to Arsenal.com ahead of tonight’s tie.
He added: “When you go to Porto and he is on the team-sheet you know you will need some strong performances from your left-back or your right back.
“That is because he can go on both flanks. He was so creative with his crosses - outside, inside - that it is still a big loss for Porto.”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 30 Sep 2008