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Thursday 29 March 2012

Santos hails Barclays Premier League quality

Arsenal's Brazilian left-back delighted to be playing his football in England

Andre Santos made his return to first-team action as an Arsenal substitute on Saturday

Arsenal defender Andre Santos has praised the quality of the Barclays Premier League and says he is loving life in England.

The 29-year-old Brazilian joined the Gunners in August 2011 from Turkish club Fenerbahce and enjoyed an impressive start to his career at the Emirates Stadium.

Santos suffered an ankle ligament injury in Arsenal's UEFA Champions League match at Olympiakos in December and was out for more than three months, but he made his comeback as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.

"The Premier League is something different - it's the best League in the world"
- Andre Santos

And Santos is delighted at how his first season in English football has gone so far.

He told the club's official website: "The Premier League is something different - it's the best League in the world. It's hard to play in, the pace is different, the fact that almost every pitch is wet makes the ball run more, the tackles are harder, and it's just really good.

"I'm not saying that the Turkish league is not good, it has quality as well, but the Premier League is different from anything I've ever seen.

"It is fair to say that I have totally adapted. I feel very well, people here have received me with open arms, and I mean everyone, the club, the staff and the fans.

"People recognise me on the streets and ask for photographs, people have great respect and charisma and they make me feel at home. I'm super happy, I've adapted and now all I want is to make history with this club."

Santos has made nine Barclays Premier League appearances for Arsenal, scoring in the 5-3 win at Chelsea in October, and he is looking forward to getting many more matches under his belt now he is fit.

"It was a big surprise how people accepted me here," he added. "Especially when I was injured, a lot of people supported me and they were always asking when I was going to come back, saying that the team needs me and wishing me well.

"In the stadium, people would see me in the stands and ask me to come back, there was also many 'Get Well Soon' messages on my Twitter account.

"All of that gave me the strength to carry on, and it all just contributes to my desire to work hard for this club and win titles in the red shirt."

It was a big surprise how people accepted me here,” he said. “Especially when I was injured, a lot of people supported me and they were always asking when I was going to come back, saying that the team needs me and wishing me well.

“In the stadium people would see me in the stands and ask me to come back, there was also many ‘Get Well Soon’ messages on my Twitter account.

“All of that gave me the strength to carry on, and it all just contributes to my desire to work hard for this club and win titles in the red shirt.”

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Key Points

  • Andre Santos says Barclays Premier League is the best League in the world
  • Santos is fit after lengthy lay-off with ankle injury
  • Brazilian loves life at Arsenal and wants to win titles