Date: 27th August 2008 at 10:00am
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The little known midfielder, Amaury Bischoff, signed on a free from Werder Bremen this summer and described as a gamble by Wenger has given an extended interview to Arsenal magazine. In it he gives some insight into his background, the fitness issues which Wenger sees as ‘the gamble` and his style of play.

As a player most supporters had never heard of Bischoff is, in many ways, a typical Wenger signing and true to form he is a player that the club has watched for some time. Wenger knew of the player from his hometown club of Strasbourg prior to his move to Werder Bremen in 2005 from his participation in the French national junior sides. He won a number of caps at that level playing alongside players like Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa. Arsenal scouts watched his development for sometime prior to him being injured almost a year ago as he played for the reserves in what seems to be the German equivalent of our League 2. Amaury`s contract was due to expire this summer and consequently was free to talk to other clubs in January. Despite his injury this seems to be the time he became aware of the clubs interest in him, leading to him agreeing to join Arsenal in August.

The pelvic injury proved troublesome and required two operations to rectify but he seems confident of their success and is now working to achieve full fitness. I`ve just started running for the first time in my recovery and I feel good – I have no problems now he tells us I`ve been working hard with the very good physio team here and I think I am six or seven weeks away from a return to action

With fitness fully restored he is ambitious enough to wish to achieve his goals quickly I want to play for Arsenal’s first team – not for the reserves. I`m realistic and know I`ll start at that level because I`ve not played for a while, but my aim is to play for the first team in any competition. His international ambitions are a little further down the line as he won`t be fit for the Portugal versus England U21 game next month but, as the Portuguese coach seems to be in fortnightly contact, there seems a desire to get him active internationally as quickly as possible.

He sees himself as an attacking midfielder playing either centrally or on the flanks I`m a creative player – not so much a dribbler but more in terms of passing, one-touch and two-touch. I`ve got good vision and think I can fit well into the way Arsenal play. Their quick passing style is one that I like and I watched the team a lot last season.

There seems little doubt that Bischoff is a genuinely talented player with Werder`s Managing Director Klaus-Dieter Fischer, disappointed at his departure, saying at the time We would be very happy to keep Amaury but he has decided to set up to a new challenge. Wenger sees this a gamble based on this talent which he expects to realise once Amaury is playing with full fitness restored. In the past players with talent like Overmars and Petit had joined the club at a time when there were doubts about their fitness. Let`s hope that Amaury Bischoff can emulate their success.



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