Santos - RVP key to glory

Arsenal defender insists striker can lead silverware charge

Andre Santos: Arsenal defender admits striker Robin van Persie is a key man for the Gunners

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Arsenal defender Andre Santos has backed the Gunners to challenge for glory next season, particularly if they retain the services of Robin van Persie.

The Brazilian left-back has highlighted the recent victory over Tottenham, when Arsene Wenger's men hit back from 2-0 down to triumph 5-2, as a key moment in their campaign.

Striker Van Persie was on target in that clash and now has 26 Premier League goals to his name, with on-going speculation that he could be set for a big-money move away from Emirates Stadium in the summer.

Santos is keen for the Holland international to commit his long-term future to Wenger's side and believes that they will be in a position to fight for the Premier League title and UEFA Champions League crown in the coming campaign after falling short this term.

"We can't think about winning just any trophies. Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in the world, so we need to have that mentality - which means winning the Premier League and Champions League."

Andre Santos

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He told The People: "At 2-0 down to Tottenham, I thought that was the end for us. I think you could say it was a turning point in the season, the way we transformed so quickly in that match.

"We can't think about winning just any trophies. Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in the world, so we need to have that mentality - which means winning the Premier League and Champions League.

"I really hope Van Persie stays. He's a great player and one of my best friends at the club. He has the peg next to me in the dressing room.

"He's one of the best strikers I've played with, though I also played with Ronaldo at Corinthians."

Santos believes that he has settled quickly into life in the Premier League following his £6.8million summer switch from Fenerbahce, with Arsenal's approach to the game easing his transition.

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He added: "From the English football I'd watched, I knew Arsenal's style of play was different to most clubs here.

"It was almost more Spanish or Brazilian than English. Because of that, it's made it a lot easier for me to adapt, I feel perfectly suited to it.

"I have a really strong desire to play for my country at a World Cup in Brazil in 2014 but I have to focus on getting back to 100 per cent consistency for Arsenal.

"Everyone here has been great to me and now I want to show them exactly what I am capable of."