Arca to fight for his place
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
SUNDERLAND'S Argentine star Julio Arca is prepared to fight for his place on Wearside, according to his agent.
Arca has only featured once for Sunderland this season - a substitute in the win at Leeds - and he has not started a game since February.
A groin injury was the reason behind Arca missing the back end of the last season, but since his return for this year's campaign, he has simply not featured in Peter Reid's plans.
Irish youngster Thomas Butler and Kevin Kilbane have both been used in preference to the popular South American, but Arca is not disheartened by his lack of action and he is knuckling down in an attempt to win his place back.
"Julio is training and playing in the reserves, he has not played recently because the coach decided to organise the team with other players," said Arca's agent Daniel Bolotnikoff.
"He is ready to play now, he is just waiting for the chance of playing again.
"All players want to play all the time, but this is not easy because a manager can only select eleven players at one time.
"Julio wants to play of course he does, but he knows very well that only so many players can play and at this moment the coach thinks that Julio is not right to play. We respect his decision because we know he wants what is best for Sunderland.
"Julio has told me about how well he is playing for the reserves and he is continuing to play for the reserves to keep up his fitness. The player needs to keep himself 100 percent right for when the coach does call on him.
"He likes England and Sunderland, he lives very well and he gets on with the other players and he has a very good relationship with the coach."
Bolotnikoff would not be drawn on what Arca would do, should he fail to recapture his first team spot.
"We don't know what will happen in the future if he does not play, then we will just have to see," he added.
The Argentinian agent also represents Arca's fellow team-mate and countryman Nicolas Medina, who is yet to play for Sunderland since his £3.5 million move from Argentinos Juniors last year.
Unfortunately for Sunderland, Bolotnikoff revealed that Medina has a knee injury and will not be fully fit for a number of months.
"Nicolas is currently injured and he will not be fit again for about three months," he revealed.
"It is not a serious knee injury, but he needs to get fit again, he will not train for a couple of weeks.
"Nicolas wants to play as he wants to show the fans that the club did not make a mistake with him, he wants to show his footballing skills.
"He knows he can make the first team and we hope when he comes back he will have an opportunity to get into the team."
Click here to enter a competition to win 'Let There Be Light'