By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger has no regrets over Julio Baptista’s short-lived stay at Arsenal.

The Brazilian spent the 2006/07 season on loan at Emirates Stadium but endured an up-and-down campaign. Baptista struggled in the Premier League, netting just three times in 24 appearances, but he shone in the Carling Cup, scoring six goals – including four in one game at Liverpool - as Arsenal advanced to the Final.

That wasn’t enough to secure a permanent switch to North London but the man they call ‘The Beast’ is now a regular for Roma, winning over the Giallorossi with the winning goal in his first Rome derby against Lazio.

At his pre-match press conference, Wenger explained why Baptista’s loan deal with Arsenal was not made permanent.

“He was on loan and we had to pay a high price for his transfer,” said the Frenchman.

“At the time we had the opportunity to buy Eduardo who could play left and central, he was more of a goalscorer and younger as well. I decided on that option.

“But we all liked him [Baptista] here and he wanted to go back to Real Madrid as well.”

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24 Feb 2009