His towering physique dwarfs opponents whilst his nickname ‘The Beast’ commands fear and respect from all others – also rendering his real name Julio Baptista pretty surplus to requirements. Yes – this is the story of the 28-year-old Brazilian midfielder who has recently appeared on Harry’s radar and is rumoured to be swapping Roma for Tottenham this summer for a mere £4m.
Does Mr Redknapp need any more midfielders? – Particularly one whose value has depreciated more in the last five years than my shares in Northern Rock. Probably not, but, this one is Brazilian so he must be good.
Unfortunately that also happens to be what Real Madrid thought when they splashed out almost £17m to sign The Beast from Sevilla in 2005. On paper he looked a good buy and was all set to become a Galactico after banging in 50 goals for Sevilla during his first two seasons in La Liga.
Well he wasn’t and he didn’t and spent two pretty forgettable seasons at the Bernabeu with year-long loan at Arsenal in between.
Predictably, he found scoring hard in the Premiership and managed just three goals in 24 appearances. He ran riot in the League Cup, however, propelling the Gunners all the way to the final with his six goals in the competition including two, which Spurs fans will begrudgingly remember, in Arsenal’s win over Tottenham in the Semi Final.
Anyhow, Wenger sent him packing, Real Madrid didn’t want him either and he was allowed to move to Roma at a £10m loss in August 2008 where, once again, he has failed to set the world alight and another club are now prepared to let him go without getting all their money back.
Sounds tempting doesn’t it Tottenham fans? Well, in mitigation for the lad, Dunga seems to think he’s good enough to grace the World Cup for his country and if he can recreate anything like the prodigious form he showed at Sevilla early on in his career, Harry will have got himself a bloody good bargain.
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