Wenger Promises to Welcome Back Brazilian Flop with Open Arms
By Adrian Back | February 14, 2013 12:00 AM EST
Andre Santos believes that his future still belongs at Arsenal despite being loaned out to Gremio after the arrival of Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal on deadline day.
The Brazilian defender was sent back to his homeland of Brazil earlier this week but he feels he will return to Arsenal and is determined to see out the remainder of his contract which does not expire until the summer of 2015.
Santos has struggled to win over the Gunners faithful since moving to the club but he feels that by regularly playing for Gremio he will regain his confidence and return to the Emirates a better player.
"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," said Santos, as quoted in The Sun. "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."
The 29-year-old has only started 13 Premier League games in his spell in north London but he still feels as though he is a part of Wenger's plans and will be welcomed back to the club by the Frenchman.
"I talked with Wenger and we decided together this would be a good chance for me to get on top of my game," Santos added. "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 was unlikely to gain regular first team football at Arsenal as Kieran Gibbs had already established himself ahead of the Brazilian in the pecking order, while the arrival of Monreal made him third choice at left-back.
The former Malaga defender has excelled since his arrival and Santos admits that he was disheartened to learn of the Spaniard's arrival.
"I am not going to lie and say I was not disappointed," he said. "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."
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