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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Barca to unveil Van Bronckhorst
Van Bronckhorst
Van Bronkhorst wants first-team football

Dutch international Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be presented as a Barcelona player on Wednesday after passing his medical.

The Arsenal utility player, who is expected to feature as a left-back for Frank Rijkaard's team, has joined the Spanish giants on a one-year loan.

The former Rangers player suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in February 2002 which kept him out for almost a year - and he has since been on the fringes of the first team.

But Barcelona's medical team are confident the former Rangers man has now fully recovered.

"His left knee is stable. The tests have showed that the player is in good condition," said Barca doctor Jordi Ardevol.

The 28-year-old Dutchman is desperate to play regular first-team football ahead of next year's European Championships and jumped at the chance to move to the Nou Camp.

I'm really looking forward to joining up with Barcelona, I have great respect for them and the way they play
Giovanni van Bronckhorst
He said: "I've really enjoyed the last two years at Arsenal, me and my family feel very settled here.

"But what I need now is to play matches, especially with the prospect of Holland competing in Euro 2004 at the end of the season.

"I'm really looking forward to joining up with Barcelona, I have great respect for them and the way they play and of course for the coach Frank Rijkaard.

"I'd like to wish everyone at Arsenal the best of luck for the season, which will hopefully see the club win more trophies."

Rijkaard is delighted to have secured the services of Van Bronckhorst.

"Giovanni can be of great value to the team," said Rijkaard.

"He's a very experienced player and I am not worried about his past injury. In fact, I think it will make him want to prove himself even more."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had previously admitted Van Bronckhorst faced problems in trying to force his way into the Highbury set-up.

"There is such competition in midfield that I have eight or nine players who all want to play and there is line between having too much and the right amount of competition for places," added Wenger.

"Giovanni also wants to play at left-back and I have Ashley Cole, who is an England international, playing there."

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