Mathieu Flamini's successful return to Arsenal this season has once again proved, sometimes going back does work.
Previously the likes of Thierry Henry and Sol Campbell have returned to the Gunners’ squad in January – the former on a short-term loan from New York Red Bulls in the MLS off-season and the latter on a free transfer when the Gunners were short on centre-backs.
The track record is there – Wenger has no issue in re-signing former Arsenal players, especially when the club has a vacancy in the right position at the right time.
Flash-forward to the present and the French boss is in fairly desperate need of a striker – injury and illness to Nicklas Bendtner and Olivier Giroud has led the Gunners’ manager to state he will very likely bring in a signing but, crucially, he has also hinted he is more likely to make a ‘stopgap’ signing rather than a more long-term and expensive one.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal forward Eduardo has been playing well in Ukraine with champions Shakhtar Donetsk where he signed from Arsenal back in 2010 after his horror ankle injury completely destroyed his Arsenal career.
When he was signed by Wenger back in 2007, he cost £7.5 million from Dinamo Zagreb and his quality was instantly evident but that now infamous tackle by Birmingham City’s Martin Taylor effectively destroyed his career at the Emirates just a year after he arrived.
So far this term, the Brazilian-born Croatian international has scored six goals in 16 appearances for Shakhtar Donetsk but with his contract expiring this summer, he could very well be on his way out of the club in January and for a fee potentially lower than his £3.5 million valuation.
The player himself expressed his desire to return to the Premier League just last month – could he be the ‘stopgap’ signing Wenger is looking for this January?
He is now 30 years of age with plenty of top level experience in the Premier League and Champions League and although he might not be the kind of star striker signing the fans would hope for, he might just be the ideal target to provide cover for Giroud, Bendtner and Theo Walcott.
We saw on Saturday at the Emirates in the Gunners' 2-0 win over rivals Tottenham that the team can function effectively with a 'false 9' type of forward up top as Walcott was deployed in for much of the game.
Giroud and Bendtner offer Wenger that traditional centre-forward approach to hold up the ball using strength and aerial prowess but Eduardo could offer a similar kind of threat to Walcott if re-signed.
At a bargain price, he is a player with unfinished business at the club. Wouldn't it be a script worth waiting for if he scored the goals to fire Arsenal to their first Premier League trophy since a decade ago?
image: © wonker