Is Baptista Worth Keeping?

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After playing a massive part in Arsenal’s run to Sunday’s Carling Cup final, putting away six goals in two matches, Julio Baptista will be hoping he can put his talents on show again and secure a permanent move to the Emirates at the end of the season,

“I think I’ve shown what I’m capable of and now it’s the decision of the club,” he said.

“It’s all quite complicated and I’m not trying to get involved at all but my agent is coming here in the next month and will begin all the negotiations.”

He added: “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, as much as anything for my own self-confidence, for showing that I can really do it and that when I’m needed I can do the business.

And unlike his exchange-student counterpart Jose Reyes, who moaned incessantly about his club, country and league, and is still moaning his bloody bollocks off in Spain, the Brazilian actually likes London. So Baptista is probably worth keeping for team harmony alone. But he has certainly shown, albeit inconsistently, the sort of play that merited his “Beast” moniker and the directness in his play that Arsenal sometimes lack. His Premiership form has been a bit pants, but as the armchair experts like to say “it takes a year to settle”.

So has Baptista done enough, on and off the pitch, to warrant a permanent contract?