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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Hleb completes switch to Arsenal
Alexander Hleb in action for Stuttgart
Hleb has won 18 caps for Belarus
Arsenal have been successful in their appeal for a work permit for Belarus international Alexander Hleb.

The 24-year-old midfielder has joined the club from VfB Stuttgart in a deal which could cost the Gunners 10m.

A club statement said: "We can confirm we have been successful in an appeal for new Belarus midfielder Alexander Hleb's work permit.

Hleb has been with Stuttgart for the last five years, making 137 appearances for the Bundesliga club.

Boss Arsene Wenger earlier told the Arsenal website: "We are delighted Alexander has agreed to join us. He's a player I have admired for some time now."

Arsenal said Hleb had agreed a long-term deal, but refused to disclose the length of the midfielder's deal.

Stuttgart sports director Herbert Briem said: "Alex really wanted to be transferred to Arsenal. We had a few demands to accept a trade and those have been met.

"We would have loved to see Alex in our team next year but this transfer gives us new perspectives."

The midfielder, who has won 18 international caps for Belarus, said he was thrilled to be moving to the north London club.

He said: "I am very happy to have this fantastic opportunity to join Arsenal. They are a club with a great history and many world-class players."

Wenger has been a long-time admirer of the talented, two-footed midfielder and wasted no time in negotiating a quick deal while in Germany commentating on the Confederations Cup for French television.

The Arsenal manager added: "Hleb has proved his ability with his performances in the Bundesliga in recent seasons and he definitely has the potential to do very well with Arsenal."


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