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Arsenal sign Da Silva

2 July 2007 13:35

LONDON (AFP) - Arsenal have signed striker Eduardo da Silva on a four-year deal from Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb to boost their strike-force following the transfer of Thierry Henry to Real Madrid.

The London club did not reveal details of the transfer fee, but Dinamo president Mirko Barisic said it amounted to 24 million euros (32.6m dollars), the biggest in Croatian football history.

The 24-year-old was born in Brazil, but having moved to Europe at the age of 15, he took Croatian nationality in 2002.

"I'm happy but at the same time also a bit sad. Sad because I'm leaving Dinamo, fellow players, the club and the town where I started my career and reached the status of a national squad player," Da Silva told reporters in the Austrian city of Kapfenberg where the club are training.

"On the other hand I am happy and proud since it is really a big club, one of the biggest in the world."

Da Silva scored the first competitive goal at Emirates Stadium when the Gunners beat Dinamo during last season's Champions League third qualifying round in late August.

He has also scored seven goals in 12 appearances for Croatia - including one against England during the 2-0 Euro 2008 qualifier victory in Zagreb last October.

Manager Arsene Wenger had been keen to recruit a proven goalscorer, with Newcastle duo Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen reported to be on his shopping list.

However, the Gunners boss is now likely to turn his attentions to defensive cover following the signing of da Silva, who finished the Croatian season as their top scorer with a record 34 goals.

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