Beast set on Gunners stay
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Brazilian star Julio Baptista is determined to join Arsenal on a permanent basis.
Brazilian international Julio Baptista is determined to turn his loan move into a permanent deal at Arsenal and show he can thrive in The Premiership.
The powerful forward moved to Emirates Stadium on transfer deadline day in a swap deal with Jose Antonio Reyes, after first turning The Gunners down a year before to move to Real Madrid.
Although Baptista has yet to start for his new club, the former Sevilla star says he is enjoying life in North London and can envisage making his loan switch a permanent arrangement.
Reyes is also acclimatising well to his new life in Madrid, and now Baptista, nicknamed 'The Beast', wants to ensure he makes a name for himself in England and on the European stage.
"I am not at Arsenal simply for the loan period," said Baptista in the News of the World.
"I feel that my future is here and I want to show that The Beast can triumph in England.
"One of my big motives in joining Arsenal was to repeat the success they had in Europe last season."
Fellow new arrival William Gallas scored his first goal for The Gunners in Saturday's 3-0 win over Sheffield United, and the former Chelsea defender is already revelling in the style with which Arsenal play the game.
"I'm enjoying being at Arsenal, it's great to be in a side which plays such an attractive game," said the versatile defender.
"Arsenal play the best football of any team in The Premiership and it's a pleasure to be here.
"I'm enjoying playing my football for this team, it's a style I enjoy, and with our last result nobody can rule us out of the title race."
The French international swapped clubs with Ashley Cole on transfer deadline day as he left Chelsea, and Gallas has now revealed that Arsene Wenger's intention to use him as a role model helped convince him Emirates Stadium was the correct destination.
"One of the reasons that Arsene brought me in here was to help guide the young players through and be a bit of a leader, I've never had that before.
"It has made me very happy, that sort of thing is a part of the job I enjoy.
"We have got a brilliant squad, one of the youngest in Europe, and lots of players with huge potential."