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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 24, 2006

Rosicky determined to improve under Wenger

Tomas Rosicky believes he can only improve under the guidance of Arsene Wenger.

The 25-year-old Czech Republic international, who had been tracked by Atletico Madrid, yesterday completed the formalities on his transfer to north London in a deal understood to be worth around £7million from Borussia Dortmund.

Rosicky has made 31 appearances in the Champions League for Dortmund and Sparta Prague, including a game against Arsenal when he scored at Highbury in October 2000.

Despite now being an established member of the Czech national team, and securing a place in the World Cup finals by scoring the winning goal in the decisive play-off against Norway, the versatile midfielder insists there is plenty more for him to learn.

Rosicky said: ``There is a lot of work to do with me still, and I think he [Wenger] can improve me, to make me much better than I am now.

``When I joined Dortmund, people said that I was too lightweight for the league, but I have proven that I can play there, and I think I can show it here also.''

Rosicky revealed it was the heroic efforts of Wenger's men against Barcelona in the Champions League in Paris which helped persuade him to head to the Premiership.

He added: ``Why Arsenal? Because I think they are the best club in Europe. Arsenal showed us in the Champions League that they are such a strong side, with big potential.

``There are a lot of young guys - I think we can be even better next season. When I was 20 I played at Highbury (for Sparta Prague) and scored too, there was a great atmosphere.

``I have been waiting for this move and am very happy to be here and will give everything for Arsenal.''

Rosicky is relishing the opportunity to play alongside Thierry Henry after the French star signed a new contract.

``It was great news, he is the best striker in the world and everybody knows that,'' Rosicky told Arsenal TV Online.

Rosicky will join up with his new team-mates after the World Cup in Germany, where the Czech Republic meet Ghana, Italy and the United States in Group E before a possible showdown with defending champions Brazil in the second round, when he could come face to face with Arsenal midfielder Gilberto.

Wenger's latest signing cost Dortmund £8million when he joined from Sparta Prague in 2001 in what was a record deal for the Bundesliga at the time, and played in the same side as current Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.

With veteran Robert Pires looking increasingly unlikely to agree a new deal with the Gunners, the arrival of Rosicky gives the Arsenal manager another option in midfield.

``We are delighted to welcome Tomas to our squad,'' Wenger said. ``He has great technique, skill on the ball and sharp passing.

``Tomas has good experience at all levels for club and country, and we look forward to welcoming him to Arsenal after what will hopefully be a successful summer for him at the World Cup.''

Meanwhile, England left-back Ashley Cole maintains he still hopes to be at Arsenal next season.

Despite signing an extension to his contract last summer to attempt to put an end to speculation about his future, Cole is repeatedly linked with a move away from the Gunners.

Asked if he will still be an Arsenal player next season, Cole told Sky Sports News: 'Why not? I hope so, I've said it a hundred times.'