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Why Edu was Arsenal’s forgotten hero of legendary Invincible squad – opinion

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Arsenal’s appointment of former midfielder Edu as technical director could be the start of something new for The Gunners – not least because the Brazilian is the first to hold such a role at the North London club.

Having enjoyed success in a similar position with the Brazil setup, the ex-Gunner will be looking to add to an impressive roll of honours at Highbury by bringing comparable levels of glory to the Emirates Stadium.

While his return to the club is being hailed in some quarters, he may have a case for arguing the fanfare of his homecoming being a little underplayed – as a member of the Invincible squad that delivered the Premier League title without tasting defeat.

And Edu’s contribution to that end should not be forgotten – although with not being a regular starter during that campaign, even Arsenal fans may be required to have their memories jogged in remembering the role he played in the club’s finest achievement.

In terms of The Gunners’ Premier League success, his bit-part role was certainly used to full effect by popping up with the odd goal that may have had a larger impact on the league campaign than you might think.

That his only two goals in the league that year came against main title rivals Chelsea gave the Brazilian an immaculate sense of timing – with the latter of those a winner at Stamford Bridge that had seen The Gunners recover from going behind inside 30 seconds.

With Arsenal stretching to an 11-point lead by the season’s end, both wins over Chelsea proved crucial in the title race.

Edu also shone in the Champions League, notching a brace against Celta Vigo in the knockout stages (including an absolute beauty) capping a terrific away result – but not before scoring in that 5-1 win over Inter Milan to emphatically keep qualification hopes alive – and seemingly threatening to break down the barricades of the San Siro to share his moment of euphoria with the fans.

And that connection with the fans will prove important in his current role, as having someone who has been to the very heights of English football surrounded by the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp is arguably the perfect person to be charged with reproducing the ingredients to return that level of success and calibre of player to the club.

He may not have troubled many scoring charts during his Gunners career, but his new role gives him the perfect opportunity to uphold a position of high importance and become a key part of Arsenal’s journey from up above.

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