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Woodgate was a scoop for Spurs but bad for Arsenal - Graham

PUBLISHED: 19:43 22 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:58 07 September 2010

Woodgate in training with England

Woodgate in training with England

The signing of Jonathan Woodgate in the January transfer window could have made the vital difference to Arsenal this season, says former Arsenal manager George Graham. But he says he also understands why Arsene Wenger chose to keep his chequebook shut a

The signing of Jonathan Woodgate in the January transfer window could have made the vital difference to Arsenal this season, says former Arsenal manager George Graham.

But he says he also understands why Arsene Wenger chose to keep his chequebook shut and allow the Middlesbrough defender to sign for rivals Tottenham.

"I worked with Jonathan when he was a youngster at Leeds and let me tell you he is a very special defender," said Graham, who managed the Yorkshire club between 1996 and 1998.

"He is a class act but someone with his track record of injuries is seen by some as a risk.

"Tottenham went in for him and so far it has been a great signing for the club and a great move for the player.

"But Jonathan needs a lot of games under his belt and that hasn't always happened.

"Maybe Arsene felt it was not the right signing for the club, I can see why - but I can also understand why some fans would like to have seen him at Arsenal.

"He'll improve any defence when he is playing.

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