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Thursday 25 July 2013

On this day in 2000: Arca arrives at Sunderland

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Argentinian full-back Julio Arca joining Sunderland

  • Julio Arca had been at Argentinos Juniors since he was 13 years old

  • The 19-year-old made an immediate impact with a goal on his debut

  • Arca became a firm favourite among Black Cats supporters with his left-wng raids

  • The wing-back helped his side bounce back from relegation in 2003

  • Arca scored four goals in 86 Barclays Premier League appearances for the Black Cats

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day: 25 July 2000 - Julio Arca joins Sunderland from Argentinos Juniors

Argentina Under-21 defender Julio Arca agreed to move from his boyhood club to Wearside by signing a five-year deal with the Black Cats.

"He's an exceptional player and was possibly the best player on the field when Argentina played England"
Peter Reid

The 19-year-old left-back, who was spotted by Sunderland manager Peter Reid while playing an Under-21 match against England, had attracted the interest of several clubs from both the Barclays Premier League and abroad, prompting Reid to move swiftly in order to pip rival suitors to the post.

"He's an exceptional player and was possibly the best player on the field when Argentina played England," said Reid, who also captured Everton midfielder Don Hutchison, Belgium U21 midfielder Tom Peeters and Austrian goalkeeper Jurgen Macho in a busy summer of transfer activity. "I've had him watched ever since and we have been extremely impressed."

Arca made an immediate impact at the Stadium of Light, scoring on his debut at home against West Ham United, and helping his side move into title contention at the turn of the year, as Sunderland surged to second place in the Barclays Premier League table.

Though the Black Cats' challenge could not be sustained, Arca became a firm favourite among Sunderland supporters for his swashbuckling raids down the left flank and his decision to stay and help his side return to the top flight following their relegation in the 2002/03 season. He made 86 Premier League appearances in his four seasons in the top flight with the Black Cats, scoring four goals, before moving to Middlesbrough in 2006.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Sunderland signed Argentina Under-21 full-back Julio Arca from Argentinos Juniors