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By ESPN Staff
Sep 5, 2006

Baptista sets sights on Premiership title

Julio Baptista believes his arrival can help push Arsenal into the Premiership title race.

The 24-year-old joined the Gunners on transfer deadline day from Real Madrid as part of the loan package which saw Jose Antonio Reyes head in the opposite direction.

Baptista has already seen action at his new Emirates Stadium home, having come off the bench during Brazil's 3-0 win over Argentina on Sunday.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has kept a close watch on the versatile South American, who is able to play either as a striker or in an advanced midfield role.

The Gunners tried to sign him a year ago, when the player opted for the Bernabeu instead.

Now, Baptista cannot wait for a chance to impress Arsenal fans on a regular basis.

'It is a really good feeling to be here and I hope I can do my best,' the Brazilian declared. 'I know that Arsene Wenger wanted me here last year, and I am sure that I will be very useful to the team.'

Baptista told Arsenal TV Online: 'I believe I can adapt straight away and do my best for the club. I am determined to help Arsenal all I can and make them really fight for title again this year.

'There is a chance to play and I believe we really have a chance to fight for the title.'

Baptista could feature in the Arsenal squad for the weekend Premiership clash with Middlesbrough as Wenger's side seek their first league win of the season.

However it remains to be seen whether his fellow Brazilian Denilson will be involved in the first team so soon.

Arsenal brought the youngster, who is captain of Brazil's Under-19 side, from Sao Paulo on transfer deadline day.

However, it is understood the Gunners could be willing to loan out the attacking midfielder so he can gain some experience.

Elsewhere, the north London club are yet to comment on the war of words between new defender William Gallas and Chelsea, the Frenchman having left as part of the deal which took Ashley Cole to Stamford Bridge.