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Friday 24 November 2017

Eduardo rues 'missed opportunities' as Gunners' season stalled

Arsenal forward Eduardo accepts things have not gone quite to plan this season.

The 27-year-old Croatian has battled back from a career-threatening injury after suffering a broken leg and ankle at Birmingham during February 2008. However, the former Dinamo Zagreb striker has struggled for consistency and has often been used as a substitute.

He has netted six goals from 31 appearances -- almost half having come from the bench.

There has been speculation manager Arsene Wenger may allow the Brazil-born forward to leave in the summer, with the arrival of Marouane Chamakh set to be officially confirmed once the Morocco striker's contract with Bordeaux expires.

Eduardo has recovered from a broken toe to be in contention for Monday night's trip to Blackburn, as Arsenal look to end the season on a positive note after seeing their title challenge fall away.

While frustrated his goal tally has not been what it could, the Croatian is content to have made a positive contribution. "I am happy because I have played in some games, but also disappointed because I missed a lot of opportunities," Eduardo said.

"But that is normal and I have been doing very well for the team. Maybe I have been playing like that this season -- more than a goalscorer."

After such a long time out of the game, the best part of a year, Eduardo maintains it is understandable his body sometimes needs a bit longer to recover full match sharpness.

"I have had a couple of muscle injuries this season, and been out for a few weeks," he said. "So maybe my body was not ready because I had been out with a long injury and needed maybe one week more to get 100pc fit."

Wenger has called on his team not to lose focus in their last two matches of a campaign which promised much but has again failed to deliver, and Eduardo insists the players will not be taking things easy.

"We are professionals and must be ready for anything in life, so we must continue to play, trying to win the game and be close to the top," he said. "Playing against Blackburn is always very hard, but we are focused and want to win."

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