Arsène Wenger spent two summers trying to get Julio Baptista to Arsenal.
The Frenchman missed out when the barrel-chested midfielder moved from Sevilla to Real Madrid in 2006. A year later, when things did not work out at the Bernabeu, a loan swap with Jose Antonio Reyes was proposed and Wenger was happy to obliged.
|Arsenal Career||2006 - 2007|
|Appearances||35 (17 starts, 18 as a sub)|
Baptista was a willing enough worker but his adaptation to English football was difficult. He returned just three goals in 24 Premier League matches.
However the Brazilian did find form in the Carling Cup. He ran in four goals – and missed a penalty - at Liverpool in a momentous 6-3 win in January 2007. In the Semi-Final of the same competition he scored twice in a memorable 5-1 aggregate win over Tottenham.
Those nights aside, he struggled to find the net even though he had a knack of being in the right place at the time.
Reyes and Baptista went back to their mother clubs at the end of that season. The latter had a reasonable run the Madrid side in the following campaign before moving to Roma.