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.”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 24 Feb 2009