2006-09-06

Baptista is confident about making a great season with Arsenal

The new striker at Arsenal, Julio Baptista, has claimed he will be "a big addition" to the Gunners' squad and is confident the team can repeat last season's achievement of reaching the Champions League final.

The powerful striker, who has joined the Gunners on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, is likely to be given a frostier reception at White Hart Lane than he was at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. There he came off the bench to play the last 18 minutes of Brazil's 3-0 win over Argentina and got a huge reception from the home support.

"I was really happy to be so welcomed in my home ground," he said. "I hope to get as big a welcome in the league. I am very confident I can be a big addition for the squad. It's a traditional club which is very well known. They reached the Champions League final last season and I hope this year we can continue and reach the Champions League final again."

In bringing Baptista to the institution, coach Arsène Wenger has secured a player he has long coveted and was close to signing last summer. "I am very humbled that Arsène Wenger is so interested in me. I would be very happy to stay here," Baptista said.

Brazil coach Dunga has backed the versatile player to make a big impact in the Premiership. "Technically, he brings the quality of a Brazilian footballer but he also brings his personality: he is very strong, very strong-willed. He is a winner," Dunga said. "He can defend, he can attack and he can score goals and this is really important."

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