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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec, 27, 2006

Baptista uncertain but Pires wants to return

Julio Baptista hopes to stay at Arsenal beyond this season - but admits his future is uncertain.

The 25-year-old Brazilian attacking-midfielder - signed on a season-long loan from Real Madrid in a move which saw Jose Antonio Reyes go in the opposite direction - has struggled to make much of an impact in the Premiership.

However, Baptista claims that is due to limited playing time - he has made just two starts for the Gunners and appeared as a late substitute during the Boxing Day win at Watford.

The Brazilian, however, is adamant he will be a success when he has fully adapted to life in the Premiership.

Baptista told Spanish paper AS: '(Arsenal boss) Arsene Wenger tells me he will wait until I get used to this league, but until I play regularly I won't achieve that.

'The idea is to participate as much as possible and at the end of the year evaluate everything and decide if the positives outweigh the negatives.

'I don't want to be just one more player. I want to help the team. But I can imagine myself being here for a few seasons.'

Baptista was deemed surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu when Fabio Capello took charge in the summer and the chances of him making an impact should he return to Madrid appear remote.

He added: 'Real are a very different side to the one I left. Coach Fabio Capello would have to change his system for me to get back in the team.

'I don't know if my exit was down to the club or Capello.'

Former Sevilla man Baptista was signed by Wenger to bolster a midfield which lost not only Reyes in the close season but also Robert Pires, who joined Villarreal.

Pires has yet to make a competitive appearance for the Yellow Submarines due to a knee injury but he is already hankering after a return to Arsenal.

The former France international told TF1: 'After my two years here, I would love to play one last season for Arsenal.

Pires quipped: 'Arsene, boss, have you got the message?'

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