Arsenal sign world's best midfielder - again

Last updated : 06 July 2003 By Chris Parry
The cost to the club in terms of wages will be a massive 11 million quid over the next three years, but what on earth would it have cost to replace him next summer if he'd been allowed to leave as a free agent?

Take it from me, this is a fantastic piece of business by the club, and will hopefully shut up once and for all the snipers in the media who presently snipe at the clubs' financial situation following the delays with the new stadium.

Paddy says: "This is a key time for Arsenal - the next two or three years will be very important for the club's history. I genuinely feel lucky to be part of that. I believe in the people I work with. I believe in Arsene Wenger - both as a man and as a manager - and I am very happy to be part of it all.

"I still feel young and I have a lot of good football left in me. And although people were saying we played some of the finest football they have ever seen last season I still think Arsenal can take their football to another level.

"That is an exciting prospect and the real reason why I am not worried about Arsenal's ability to compete with the biggest clubs in Europe. I have just turned 27. I never said I wanted to quit the club and I want to stay here for a long time.

"I want to win trophies with Arsenal. Our style of play and the players we have here means we are capable of winning trophies.

"We can compete with the four clubs who reached last season's champions league semis - Real Madrid, Juventus and the two Milan clubs. What really matters is that that this club wants to fight against the best.

"I want to be part of the future of this club and I want to win the title back for Arsenal,' said Vieira. 'I still believe we are the best team in the country - and we will continue to prove that next season.

"Other sides will feel that they can keep us down but that will not be the case. Money does not buy team spirit and friendship and that is what we have here. There will be people hoping that they will see the break-up of the Arsenal side this summer but I believe that is not going to happen.

"Other clubs can spend as much as they want but we know that we still have enough here to win the title back."