Julio Baptista still needs a little time, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Arsenal manager has omitted the big Brazilian from his squad for tonight's Premiership match with Fulham. It is perhaps surprising given that the 25-year-old has just come back from a lengthy lay-off with a hamstring problem and could supply much-needed goals from midfield.

However the manager is happy to hold back Baptista for the busy schedule to come in the next month.

"Baptista will not play but there is no basic problem with him," said Wenger. "He is just yet to adapt to the pace of the game.

"He has just come back from six weeks injury and I feel he needs to work. Maybe he will play on Saturday but on Wednesday he will work.

"We have seen it before with players who came here. It takes them always six months to adapt. But I am confident he will make a big impact here."

14-1 - Fulham v Arsenal: Alexander Hleb to score the first goal

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29 Nov 2006