Arsene Wenger today revealed he swooped for Tomas Rosicky as soon as he discovered Robert Pires was leaving Arsenal and believes he has found the ideal replacement for the French winger.
Pires ended his six-year stay at Highbury last week when he agreed a two-year deal with Spanish Champions League semi-finalists Villarreal.
But in readiness for the 32-year-old’s departure, Wenger was already tracking Rosicky who eventually signed for £7million from Borussia Dortmund 11 days ago.
And although the Gunners boss admits the two players are not identical in style, he believes Rosicky, 25, can fulfil a similar role at the club.
“I took Rosicky to replace Robert. I moved very quickly after Robert told me he would go,” he told the club’s official website, www.arsenal.com.
“I wanted to secure [Rosicky] before the World Cup starts. He is a little bit similar position-wise to Robert.
“He can play in Dennis Bergkamp’s role, on the left, in a 4-3-3 or central. But he is slightly a different style.
“Rosicky is an accelerator of the game, a guy who can create things, see things quickly and whose best years are ahead of him.”