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Reyes didn't look a 20M player to me.
27 January  2004

By coincidence I was at the Sevilla game on the 18th of this month. Reyes scored from the spot against Athletico Madrid. And little did I know I was watching the player who was going to be Arsenal's new record signing.

The main thing that stuck out about the game, was the standard of football. It wasn't very good. A few nice touches, but more often than not, the passes wouldn't end up where they were supposed to go. The game wasn't helped by a whistle happy ref either.
But if you had asked me at the end of that game, who if anyone was worth the reported (depending on where you read it) 20M we have just paid for Reyes, I wouldn't have been able to pick anyone out. There wasn't a player who looked worth 5M let alone 20M.
Reyes didn't stand out, Torres for Athletico did, but that may have been more down to hype than anything.

I don't know much about Reyes, in fact the only times I have really heard about him is when he has been linked to joining Arsenal. Other than that, I can't claim to really knowing about him.
It's wrong to judge a player after only seeing them once, but I didn't see anything that made me think he had anything special about him. Usually even when a top player is having an off day you still see something about them that makes them look like they have it. Maybe it was just a poor performance in a poor game. To be fair to him, he did tuck away his penalty with confidence despite being ordered to retake it. And who am I to judge?

I am not one to question Wenger, I don't think anyone could. You only have to look at his record. Well I am not really questioning our new signing here, I'm just a bit shocked I suppose. Having only seen him less than two weeks ago in a game where I didn't really notice him and now seeing us pay so much for him.

The reports about him are good, he is very highly rated in Spain by all accounts, Wenger doesn't usually get it wrong. And although I am a bit shocked I am also excited by the signing. It's always good to be able to lure such talent, and if what we are told is right, we have just signed one hell of a player.
And despite being a bit shocked, I have only seen the lad once. So I am looking forward to seeing what he can do.
And of course the fun side to it all, it makes ManUtd's signing of Saha look just a bit dour doesn't it.

His signing does also point to the possible exit for one of our forwards.
But who?
Bergkamp has expressed how he wishes to play maybe yet another season
Kanu is out of contract at the end of the season
As is Wiltord.
I can't see Wenger keeping all three of them, especially with Bently and Aliadiere making good progress this season. I think he has got to the stage where he won't really want to hold them back much longer.
So maybe two of the three will go.
Has Kanu done enough over the last few months with his much improved performances to get a new deal?
Does Wiltord still want out?
We will have to wait and see.

But for now, Welcome Jose Reyes and here's to another star in the making. He's in good hands.

The Ginge
andyw@theginge.com
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