By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger has made his fair share of surprising signings down the years but the Arsenal manager still managed to raise a few eyebrows with his summer swoop for Amaury Bischoff.
Born in France, capped in Portugal and discovered in Germany, Bischoff had just one senior appearance for Werder Bremen under his belt and was hampered by a long-term injury when he moved to Emirates Stadium in August. However, the 21-year-old is already repaying Wenger's faith. Since recovering from his second groin operation, Bischoff has made three appearances for Arsenal Reserves and opened his account with a spectacular strike in last week's win against Fulham.
Bischoff has shown enough fitness and form to earn a place in Wenger's squad for tonight's Carling Cup tie against Wigan. The Frenchman believes that one of his biggest transfer market gambles is beginning to pay dividends.
"Bischoff was a complete gamble because he was completely free," admitted Wenger.
"We reached our first target because we have got him ready to play football again. The second target is to get him ready to play at the top level. We are nearly there, he is not completely there yet physically but he is getting closer.
"[I kept an eye on his career because] he is a good understander of the game. At the top level he can combine the fact that he is technically very good and he is a very intelligent football player. That is why we have made him come here.
"He can play out wide, or centrally in the final third."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 11 Nov 2008