Andre Santos: I still have a future at Arsenal

Left-back has been loaned to Gremio for the remainder of the season

Arsenal misfit Andre Santos claims his future remains at Arsenal despite being loaned to Brazilian club Gremio for the remainder of the season.

Signed for £6.8m in the summer of 2011, the left-back has made just 13 Premier League starts for the Gunners after struggling to adapt to the demands of English football.

The 29-year-old slipped behind Keiran Gibbs in the pecking order, and when the young English defender succumbed to injury, Arsene Wenger entered the transfer market to bring in Nacho Monreal on January deadline day for a fee in the region of £10.5m.

When it was announced yesterday that Santos had left the Emirates on loan, it appeared to be the end of the Brazilian's Arsenal career, but the defender claims that Wenger wanted to keep him.

Santos told The Evening Standard: “The idea is to go there, play well and be able to come back strong. Do I have a future at the club? For sure. This is a loan deal and after this season we will see where everything stands.

“I always wanted to stay here until the end of my contract. This is a club where I feel comfortable and honoured to play. However, when the club acquired another left-back it was clear to me that I will not play. I need to play, get my confidence back and Gremio is a good platform for this.

“I talked [with Wenger] and we decided together this would be a good chance for me to get on top of my game. He gave me a hug and told me Arsenal would always welcome me back with open arms. He did [want me to stay] but he wanted to see me happy and if I am not performing all the time, then I am not happy.”

Santos, who has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract at Arsenal, admits his time at the Emirates has not gone as well as he had hoped.

He said: “I wish things could have worked out better. I started very well, got injured a couple of times and I have not been able to get back to my best form. Things did not work out as well as I expected. I am not satisfied. Hopefully, when I am back, I will be on top of my game and then I will be able to help the team the way I want to.”

Santos, who denies rejecting a move to Turkish side Galatasaray, has not played since last month’s arrival of Spain international Monreal from Malaga.

Santos said: “I am not going to lie and say I was not disappointed.

“This was a last-minute deal and a clear message to me that I would not start for the rest of the season.

“Monreal is a good player and he will be able to help Arsenal. However, since I play in the same position as him, yes I was disappointed.

“I thought this was my chance to get back into the team, play some games, and get back to the form that me, the manager and the fans were expecting from me.”

Santos concedes his relationship with Arsenal fans suffered when he swapped shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time during a defeat at Manchester United in November. He said: “You guys have a different culture than me and it is still very hard to understand why people hold this grudge over me.

“The relationship was very good until the incident with Van Persie. I have apologised and moved on.

“I have all my respect to the fans of Arsenal. Hopefully soon I will be back and giving them many happiness.”

Santos could make his Gremio debut against Santa Cruz tomorrow and hopes the move will increase his chances of a recall to the Brazil squad ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Santos, who has been capped 22 times, has not represented his country since July 2011 but said: “It would be a dream for me to play the World Cup in my home country. If I don’t play regularly for Arsenal, I’ll have no chance.

“By coming to Gremio I will be able to be in a position to compete for a spot. If I play well, on the top of my game, for sure I will get an opportunity under manager [Luiz Felipe] Scolari.

“That is my goal and I will be working very hard to achieve that.”

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas