Portuguese Bischoff gives us options in midfield

Just ahead of the Gunners' first real pre-season test against Stuttgart tonight and the club has announced the signing of Amaury Bischoff on a free transfer.

He can play in the centre and on the right, though, giving us more options when the inevitable injuries kick in. He's been given the Number 28 jersey, which suggests to me that he will start the season very much as back-up. Expect him to feature in the Carling Cup but nothing else until he gets used to the frenetic pace of the English game.

Still only 21, he only made one senior appearance for Werder Bremen, who he left this summer after his contract ran out. He'd already announced that North London was going to be his new home earlier in July, so the move has come as no surprise.

Given that he started his career in France, played his football in Germany and represented the French Under-18s and Portuguese Under-21s suggests he'll have no trouble fitting in to our cosmopolitan dressing room.

Speaking earlier this month, Bischoff said: "Bremen was a superb experience, but Arsenal is a huge opportunity for me. (Arsene) Wenger has known me since my time at Strasbourg and believes in my quality. He trusts me to be in the first-team. Wenger has not put me under any pressure. He said: 'Take all the time you need.'"

For those who are interested, he started off at SR Colmar and Strasbourg before moving to Werder Bremen in 2005. Most of his appearances were for the Bremen Under-23 side, which is played at a decent standard in front of fairly sizeable crowds.

I'm not sure whether he's going to turn out to be a Patrick Vieira or Manu Petit or another Stefan Malz or Alberto Mendez. Time will tell.