Jose Antonio Reyes had the potential to be a star at Arsenal but he flickered briefly before fading.
The Spaniard arrived to a fanfare of publicity in January 2004 and hit the heights almost immediately. In his third appearance he scored twice to knock Chelsea out of the FA Cup - and the first of those goals was a classic.
|Arsenal Career||2004 - 2007|
|Appearances||44 (38 starts, 6 as a sub)|
Quick, skilful and technically excellent, Jose Antonio looked capable of adding a new dimension to Arsenal's attack. He was late on the scene for the unbeaten title season of 2003/04 but played a full part as Arsenal made a flying start to his first full campaign.
Jose Antonio scored in each of the first six matches as Arsenal broke Nottingham Forest's unbeaten League record in August 2004 and eventually racked up 49 games without defeat. The Spaniard was especially effective at Highbury, not least when he helped Arsene Wenger's side turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 win over Middlesbrough.
The defeat at Manchester United which ended that run prompted a dip in Arsenal's form - and Jose Antonio was affected more than most. He struggled to recreate the fluency of his early-season performances but he did manage the winner in a North London derby against Tottenham.
The Spaniard ended that season by becoming only the second man to be sent off in an FA Cup Final, although Arsenal did go on to lift the trophy after a penalty shoot-out against Man United. And his fortunes didn't improve much the following term. Jose Antonio made a significant contribution to Arsenal's run to the Champions League Final but he managed just six goals in all competitions.
By now rumours were rife that Jose Antonio was struggling to adapt to life in England and he moved to Real Madrid on loan for the 2006/07 season. A permanent move to their city rivals, Atletico, followed a year later.