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
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower