Arsenal are set to lose three more players this week, in addition to Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. Emmanuel Eboue has gone to Galatasaray for around £3 million, while Carlos Vela and Pedro Botelho are going on loan to Spain.
Our 28 year old Ivorian has made has made 214 appearances for the Gunners since joining from Beveren in January 2005. He was a key part of the record-breaking defence which kept ten clean sheets in the Champions League as we reached the 2006 final in Paris. He even made that spectacular dive which earned us the free kick which led to our goal in that final.
Eboue started out as a right back for Arsenal, but he moved forward when Sagna was signed in 2007. He has since played on the right of midfield and on the right wing. He isn’t known for his goalscoring prowess (only scoring 10 goals during his time at Arsenal), but his pace and movement proved quite useful if we needed back-up on the right hand side of the pitch.
Eboue was a much-loved Arsenal star, but he suffered a severe dip in confidence and backing from the fans in the 2008/09 season. In December 2008, Manu was subbed on against Wigan but he was subbed off soon after coming onto the pitch. He was visibly shaken, having received abuse from the Emirates crowd after a shocking performance which included several stray passes and tackling his own teammate.
He went on to score three more goals that season and he won back the fan’s admiration. A chant was created to show our love for the ever-smiling and hard-working Ivorian: “We’ve only come to see Eboue.”
He pledged his future to the club at the end of last year, signing a long-term contract with the club. However, he only started 19 games last campaign and this has probably prompted his decision to move on. It was already clear that Eboue would leave after Gervinho inherited his squad number 27, but the whereabouts of his move were confirmed yesterday.
Vela is set to join Real Sociedad on loan while Botelho is going to newly promoted Rayo Vallecano on a loan deal. Vela only appeared 13 times for Arsenal last season, as well as going to West Brom on loan. Botelho is still waiting for a first team appearance, but he has been getting plenty of game time during his previous loans, so it is hoped that he will continue his development at Rayo Vallecano.