Arsenal left-back Andre Santos believes his future still lies with the Premier League club after joining Brazilian side Gremio on loan.
The Brazil international signed for Arsenal in 2011 for 6.8 million pounds, but has slipped behind Kieran Gibbs and January signing Nacho Monreal in the pecking order, making just 13 Premier League starts for the club.
The 29-year-old maintains that he will return to play for the club as per Arsene Wenger’s wishes, despite incurring the wrath of supporters for his poor performances in 2012/13.
“I talked (with Wenger) and we decided together this would be a good chance for me to get on top of my game,” he told the Evening Standard.
“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 fans at the Emirates took a turn for the worse after the defender swapped shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time during a defeat to Manchester United, something that left the Arsenal player confused but remorseful.
“The relationship was very good until the incident with Van Persie,” he said.
“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.”