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.”

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
New Articles
i100
News
people
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week