Arsenal left-back Andre Santos has made it clear that he is now feeling complete settled in London and has attributed much of his comfort at the club to the relationships he has developed with teammates off the field.
After gradually making a successful transition from a deadline-day signing to the team’s starting left-back, Santos famously scored in the 5-3 derby win away to Chelsea in October.
Unfortunately, injury forced the Brazilian to spend a long spell at the sidelines. Having made his return recently, though, the 29-year old is looking forward to a rematch against the in-form Blues on Saturday.
In the mean time, he has also spoken about the significance of personal relationships he has built off the pitch with other members of the Gunners squad.
“I get on well with every single one of the players, I treat and respect everyone equally and vice versa,” Santos recently told Arsenal Player in an interview during which he emphasized his close friendship with fellow summer signing Mikel Arteta.
The former Corinthians and Fenerbahce player explained: “Mikel Arteta is Spanish and our languages are quite similar so he is helping me the most. He is always giving me instructions about the Premier League. He played for Everton for a long time and arrived at Arsenal at the same time as I did so he helped me settle.
“We’re always messing around in the changing room, on the pitch during the warm up; he’s always saying something to make me laugh or calling me nicknames but it’s always good spirited with no harm. We work together every day and need these moments of distraction.”
Santos then went on to describe the extent of the personal bond that exists between Arsenal players.
“This link with the club is very important, us players always go out for dinner and social events together. I’m always doing something with Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Robin van Persie, Mikel, Yossi Benayoun, Ignasi Miquel and others. This link between us off the pitch is very strong and it benefits the team on the pitch,” he concluded.
While the Gunners’ opponents this weekend are staring closely at the prospect of an FA Cup and Champions League double, the only signs of success at the Emirates Stadium this season have revolved around Arsenal’s progress from near the bottom of the table to the best league record in London.
Another summer signing, Gervinho, believes that despite another season without silverware, the team has learned many useful lessons that will contribute the pursuit of future success.
“It is true that I am disappointed to see another year without a trophy. I am used to getting trophies, but we tried and we went through a lot this year,” Gervinho stated.
“We learnt a lot from the negative start we had. It has made us stronger today – we have learnt from our mistakes. We learnt a lot during that struggle,” the Ivory Coast international asserted.”