Great Britain

Former Arsenal star Denilson, 32, now playing in MALTA after completing transfer to Sliema Wanderers on one-year deal

MALTESE club Sliema Wanderers have become the latest destination for former Arsenal star Denilson.

The midfielder left the Gunners in 2013 but has spent recent years battling serious knee injuries after spells in Brazil and the Middle East.

On Thursday, club president Keith Perry told Times of Malta that a one-year contract had been agreed with the 32-year-old.

Sliema are historically are historically Malta's most successful team but last won the league in 2005, finishing tenth in 2019/20.

Coached by former Brentford defender John Buttigieg, the club have failed to reach Europe, where they are usually dispatched in the early qualifying rounds, in the last five years.

Denilson will hope to turn around their, and his own, fortunes after a lengthy spell out of the game.

A stint with Brazilian second-tier club Botafogo-SP last year was ended after the knee injuries that had kept him without a team for three years cropped up again.

Last week, Denilson posted a video of himself exercising on a bike as he races back to full fitness for the new campaign.

The midfielder played over 150 times for Arsenal between 2006 and 2011, before leaving for Sao Paulo.

In June, he revealed how a stall in his development on the pitch and severe loneliness off it compelled him to leave London and head back home.

Denilson told the Guardian: "When I left Arsenal it was because of personal reasons. My mind wasn’t in the right place.

"I was living by myself in a different country and found it very difficult. Towards the end I really felt alone. I started to feel not right mentally and physically.

"Being alone affected my mind and my football. That’s when I realised it was time to go back to Brazil, where I had family and friends, in the hope it would lift my spirits."

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