Date: 23rd February 2007 at 8:05pm
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Julio Baptista thinks he has taken the opportunity given to him by Arsene Wenger to make a claim for a permanent deal at Arsenal.

Baptista`s opportunities have been limited outside the Carling Cup this season but the man dubbed ‘The Beast` has grasped the small opportunity with both hands. He has 6 goals in just 2 games in the league cup, a 4 goal haul at Anfield and a brace at White Hart Lane.

Fitness permitting, Baptista is almost certain to start in Sunday`s final.

Speaking ahead of the Sunday showpiece Baptista said: “This is the competition I’m having most opportunity. It’s the one in which Arsene Wenger is really giving me a chance, the only one where I’ve been able to show how I am able to play.

“It has been very important to me, as much as anything for my own self-confidence. It shows that when I’m needed I can do the business.

“I think I’ve definitely shown what I’m capable of and now it’s the decision of the Club [whether to keep me or not].”

Baptista also went on to talk about his role in the team. Since he arrived Baptista has played in 5 different positions and proved more than able in all.

“My favorite position is as second striker,” he said, “but a free-roaming one, ideally about five meters behind the striker.

“Arsene knows that’s my best position but sometimes the situation arises that I am needed in other positions and I’ll play there. But really the one I want to play in, and know I’m best at, is the second striker role.

“Of course it has been frustrating not to play more but you’re competing with international players in every other position.

“When I arrived the team was pretty much formed already, everyone had their positions. But of course I want to be playing in the main team.”