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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Gio could be key to Arsenal glory
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (second from the left) could be the key to Arsenal's success
Van Bronckhorst has already scored for his new club
BBC Sport Online's Ian Hughes tips Giovanni van Bronckhorst to be a huge success at Highbury.

Arsenal have finished runners-up in the Premiership for the last three years, but this season they are not even second favourites for the title.

But with help from a host of summer signings, the Gunners could prove the bookmakers wrong.

The hype and expectancy surrounds Sol Campbell, who switched to Highbury from Tottenham.

But the most significant arrival may turn out to be Dutch midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Arsenal paid 8.5m to bring Van Bronckhorst to north London from Rangers.

And manager Arsene Wenger believes he has finally replaced Emmanuel Petit, who has been sorely missed since his departure, in the heart of the midfield.

  Summer transfers
IN
Sol Campbell (Tottenham)
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Rangers)
Francis Jeffers (Everton)
Richard Wright (Ipswich)
Junichi Inamoto (Gamba Osaka)
OUT
Nelson Vivas (Inter Milan)
Stefan Malz (Kaiserslautern)

Van Bronckhorst will partner Patrick Vieira, who seems to be staying at Highbury for one more season at least.

The pairing looks to have the potential to enable Arsenal to threaten Manchester United's stranglehold on the Premiership.

Van Bronckhorst has a cultured left foot, an eye for goal, and will provide the creativity that has sometimes been missing from Arsenal's play over the last few seasons.

While he is in himself no guarantee of winning silverware, he will certainly boost the club's chances.

And summer signings Francis Jeffers, Richard Wright and Junichi Inamoto, as well as Campbell have further strengthened the squad.

Van Bronckhorst is convinced Arsenal have the quality to succeed.

"If you look at the squad of players that Arsenal have, they are amazing and there are a whole bunch of players that I can't wait to play alongside.

"Obviously Dennis Bergkamp was a hero of mine when I was a kid and being able to play with him at club level is going to be great.

"It is very exciting to be part of such a world-class group of players.

"Of course there is also the prospect of going a long way in the Champions League which is a very exciting thought.

"I really want to be part of a side that challenges for European honours."

See also:

08 Aug 01 |  Football
Vieira's vice-captain role
10 Aug 01 |  Football
Gunners linked with Greek defender
Links to more Arsenal stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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