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Around The Uk

Olympics2000

Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 19:31 GMT 20:31 UK
Arsenal finally unveil Wiltord
Sylvain Wiltord salutes the Highbury crowd
Sylvain Wiltord salutes the Highbury crowd
Arsenal's new signing Sylvain Wiltord was paraded at Highbury on Saturday at the Premiership match while his former club accused him dishonesty.

The 26-year-old Bordeaux striker agreed to join Arsenal earlier in the week and the player was in the stands watching his new team-mates beat The Addicks 5-3.

But the French club's president Jean-Louis Triaud has launched a scathing attack on the player after confirming the deal was done.

"We had long hoped Wiltord would be a man of his word but as he does not have any intention of respecting his obligations and engagements there is no longer a place at the club for a guy like that," said Triaud.

"To have to lose Wiltord is a disappointment in sporting terms. We will miss his talent. But on the human level a lad who does not keep his word has no place at the club."


To have to lose Wiltord is a disappointment in sporting terms. We will miss his talent. But on the human level a lad who does not keep his word has no place at the club
  Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud

Worse still for Bordeaux is that they have to pass on about a third of the fee to Wiltord's former club Deportivo La Coruna, as he signed for the Spanish side from Rennes and then moved on to Bordeaux three years ago without playing a single game in the Primera Liga.

Deportivo inserted a clause into the deal that they could claim two fifths of any sell-on profit.

One man who is definitely happy is Gunners' boss Arsene Wenger.

"He's very mobile and can play as a target man. I can't imagine Thierry Henry playing 70 games a season, it would destroy him," he said.

"As well, he can play with a target man. He can play on the flanks, so he's really offensively multi-functional."

Arsenal are not revealing the price they have paid but it is expected to be around 12m.


As well, he can play with a target man. He can play on the flanks, so he's really offensively multi-functional
  Arsene Wenger

Meanwhile Wiltord's close friend and former Arsenal star Nicolas Anelka was quick to say that the Gunners had signed a top star.

"I'm delighted for him. On Saturday, just before I went to training, my phone went. On the other end of the line was my mate Sylvain live from Arsenal's ground," wrote Anelka on his official website.

"He told me: `That's it Nico - I've just signed for Arsenal!'

"I am sure he'll go down a treat over there, he's really quick and skilful.

"Believe me I know English defences and `Nino' will grab loads of goals against them."

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