With a summer of wild speculation about Robin Van Persie’s future at Arsenal ahead, it’s refreshing to learn that we do have players who love the club unequivocally and are committed to the cause. Of course, there is every chance RVP will sign a new deal and secure a long future at the Emirates and who can fault our main man? But all the time he cleverly circumnavigates the issue we can never be completely sure he won’t seek pastures new.
We can be sure TV5 is adamant that Arsenal are his club as he chose to say as much the other day and now it emerges that Andre Santos is more than happy with his lot in north London, too.
Indeed, Brazilian defender Santos, a £6million capture from Turkish outfit Fenerbahce last summer, is so smitten with his life in England that he has gone so far as to name his first son, born after he signed for the Gunners, Arthur! And the Samba star hasn’t ruled out the chance of the baby boy turning out for England one day – presumably recruited from the Arsenal ranks in about 18 years time.
Santos perhaps didn’t go as far as to celebrate St George’s Day on Monday but does speak fondly of his new home. He said: “Our son Arthur is doing well. I am proud that he was born in London and I hope we have a great future here. Yes, it’s true Arthur could play for England one day, you never know! You can never presume things for him, let’s see what he choose for his life. My wife and I wanted him to have an English name. We chose it together.”
It is fair to say Santos, 29, feels very much at home in the capital and he added: “I like everything about London, but especially I love the restaurants, and that is what we do most – me and my wife go out for dinner often. London’s fascinating for its diversity.”
Santos endeared himself to Gooners with his mad, break-neck dashes forward from his left-back berth earlier in the season, and the ease with which he and his family have settled in at Arsenal has a lot to do with the reaction he received when he arrived. “It surprised me at how warmly I was welcomed by everyone at the club; everyone has embraced me at Arsenal but especially the fans. That has been fantastic for me,” he explained.
Santos is just regaining full fitness after being sidelined for three months with an ankle injury and must compete now with Kieran Gibbs for a slot in the team. And ahead of the tough trip to Stoke City in a vital Premier League clash for Arsene Wenger’s troops, he has reiterated just how important it is to have good run-in and finish as high as possible in the table. “We need to finish the season strongly and get third place, which is our main objective,” he added.
If you are still at the helm, keep an eye out for young Arthur Santos in a few years, Arsene!
CARL ELDRIDGE – on Twitter @eldomedia