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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 January, 2004, 19:09 GMT
Profile: Freddy Grisales
By Tim Vickery

Freddy Grisales
My outstanding memory of Freddy Grisales comes from the semi-final of the last Copa America, held three years ago in Colombia.

Opponents Honduras were on a high after having beaten Brazil.

Though they were a goal down, they pressed hard for an equaliser.

Their most promising move came to a halt with a vital tackle from Grisales on the edge of the Colombian penalty area.

Just a few seconds later, Aston Villa's transfer target was at the other end of the field sliding through the pass for the decisive second Colombian goal.

That is the kind of box to box energy that makes Grisales seem suited to English football.

Grisales will face linguistic differences and extra cultural challenges

He is strong, can tackle, and makes surging runs which usually end in powerful shots.

In Colombia he has frequently been attacked for what is seen as headless chicken dynamism - not a criticism he is likely to hear too often in the hurly burly of the Premiership.

He should be able to adapt to life on the field. But can he adapt off it?

The presence of Juan Pablo Angel will undoubtedly be a big help - which Grisales will need.

Four years ago he had a disappointing spell in Argentina with San Lorenzo.

Now he will face linguistic differences and extra cultural challenges.

Then there is the battle to receive a work permit. Grisales has played 25 times for Colombia (four goals), but he has rarely been a fixture in the side.

His caps have spanned over five years. Though he has featured recently he does not comply with the requirement to have appeared in 75% of Colombia's games over the past two years.

It is not yet clear, then, whether Grisales will be able to make his surging runs at the club where Angel did not fear to tread.






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