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One year after Arsenal links striker scores first goal for obscure Turkish outfit

Ciprian Marica bagged a goal for Konyaspor last night.

Last summer Arsenal were being heavily linked with a move for Romanian international striker Ciprian Marica. He was a free agent after his contract at Schalke 04 expired at the end of the season. Obviously, as a free transfer, he could be signed after the transfer window shut - and they were after striking reinforcements.

However Arsenal were first linked with him after these quotes emerged from his now disgraced agent Ioan Becali in August:

"It is near Arsenal, we'll see this week. Marica is a very good striker, Romania's national player who has Western big football experience. It's normal to be in big clubs viewfinder, the more since remained free after he signed the contract with Schalke 04."

Marica had been training with his former team Dinamo Bucharest to stay in shape and it looked as if they really were considering a move for the unlikely transfer target.

But in the end he went elsewhere, joining Spanish side Getafe toward the end of September. He went on to score just five goals in his 24 appearances for the Azulones and was not retained at the end of the season. Once again he was a free agent, and bizarrely the Arsenal rumours emerged tentatively once again back in June.

But he instead joined Konyaspor - an obscure Turkish outfit who came 11th in the Turkish Super Lig last term and also have Arsenal cult hero Alexander Hleb on their books.

And last night he scored his first goal for the club, smashing home against Genclerbirligi in a 4-1 friendly triumph.

It may not be The Emirates, but Marica is likely to excel in Turkey, and finally get to show what he is capable of.

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