André Santos believes he still has future with Arsenal despite Grêmio loan
Arsenal defender André Santos believes his future still lies with the Gunners despite joining Grêmio on loan for the rest of the season.
The 29-year-old moved to North London for £6.8million in August 2011 from Turkish giants Fenerbahçe, but failed to gain a regular spot in Arsène Wenger’s team.
Santos has slipped behind Kieran Gibbs and January signing Nacho Monreal in the pecking order at the Emirates, starting just 13 Premier League games, but he still believes that he will return to play for the Gunners.
He told the Evening Standard: "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. Do I have a future at the club? For sure.
"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.
"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."
The relationship between Santos and the Arsenal fans became strained after the defender swapped shirts with former teammate Robin van Persie at half-time during a defeat to Manchester United.
Santos continued: "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."
Source: Evening Standard