Former Arsenal defender Andre Santos has shared a story of a fight with Arsene Wenger after the legendary Frenchman refused to let him leave the club.
It’s been a long time since Arsenal fans heard about Santos. His name springs up once every year before our game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but apart from that, he’s a forgotten man in and around North London.
However, Wenger had high hopes for Santos when he signed him from Fenerbahce in 2011. His attack-minded style of play seemed perfect for our system, but apart from a few rare positives, things didn’t work out for him at Arsenal.
Andre Santos: I once fought with Arsene Wenger
In an interview on the Cartolouco YouTube channel a few days ago, Santos named Wenger as the one manager he has had a fight with in his career. He shared the entire story towards the end of the video.
He said: “I got hurt, fractured my ankle and he said he wouldn’t loan me. Fine. I came back, he said I was going to play. He left me six games straight on the bench. He said ‘no, you enter the game today’.
“After the sixth game, I said: ‘Professor, you said I was going to play, I stayed here, and you signed a left-back from the Spanish national team, and I won’t play’. Then, he said I’d play in the next game.
“I arrived in the locker room kicking everything: ‘You said I was going to play’, such and such. In English. In fact, when we’re nervous, we’re nervous, wanting to curse, we only curse in Portuguese. Then I talked to him. He had already closed the window for me to transfer to another team in Europe, Fenerbahce wanted to sign me again, he didn’t release me.”
Santos played just 33 games for Arsenal in over two-and-a-half years here. His fantastic strike in our 5-3 win at Chelsea is remembered to this day, but the reality is that he was just not good enough to play at left-back every week in the Premier League.
His words above make it seem like there’s still some animosity towards Wenger. However, in the same interview, Santos labelled the legendary Frenchman as the best manager he has ever played under, which shows that there’s a lot of respect still there.