Aliadiere welcomes new start
By Laurent Picard
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Striker Jeremie Aliadiere is keen to make a fresh start after signing for Middlesbrough.Striker Jeremie Aliadiere is keen to make a fresh start after signing for Middlesbrough.
The 24-year-old Frenchman made the move to the Riverside in a four-year deal worth £2million on Wednesday after spending eight years with the Gunners.
Aliadiere, who has been plagued by injury over recent seasons, struggled to become a regular member of the first team and make an impact in the Premier League under Arsene Wenger.
But he is now ready to put the past behind him and repay the faith Boro boss Gareth Southgate has shown in him.
"I am relieved and happy because I felt like I was never going to leave Arsenal," Aliadiere told Sport.
"I was at Arsenal for eight years so I am happy to start from new. I can't wait to start training again on July 2 and to see what will happen.
"I have had a good relationship with Southgate from the start. He told me that he has signed me to make me play and that he has been following me for three years. I needed to hear that because I want to play every weekend.
"I don't feel any apprehension. When a club who has been following you for a long time buys you, it means a lot. The people have been very welcoming.
"After all those years on the bench, I only want to play. And Boro are an ambitious club, who plan a solid recruitment to the squad. Even if they aren't Arsenal they want to do something good."
Aliadiere holds no ill feeling towards his former club but believes he was sidelined as it was better value to leave him out as he was on a smaller wage than some of the players.
"I have a lot of friends at Arsenal. Just because I'm leaving them it doesn't mean I will forget them. I wish them the best season possible," he continued.
"Last season was a shock because I played a few matches, scored, and from one day to another I wasn't used anymore. That is why I wanted to leave. Anyway I would never have been a starter for Arsenal under Wenger.
"For example (Jose) Reyes or (Robin) Van Persie haven't been great at the beginning but have played. I had a lower salary whereas they had been bought for a lot of money. That made it easier to put me on the bench.
"I have no resentment. I am just happy at what is happening to me at the moment. It is true that I am disappointed because I think I could have succeeded with Arsenal. C'est la vie.
"My career is beginning. I have joined a new club and the coach recognises my talent and will trust me. Now everything depends on me, the cards are in my hands.
"I am as motivated as ever to attack with Boro, to have a great season and to show everybody and most of all to Wenger that he has missed something."
Meanwhile, Turkish striker Tuncay Sanli has arrived on Teesside to undergo a medical ahead of completing a deal.
The 25-year-old Turkey international is set to join Boro on a free transfer from Fenerbache.