Arsenal boss Wenger reveals Santos apologised for van Persie shirt episode

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal left-back Andre Santos has apologised to his teammates and the club’s supporters after appearing to ask for Robin van Persie’s shirt at half-time of the Gunners’ Premier League defeat against Manchester United, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Arsenal fans were enraged to see Santos take van Persie’s shirt as the players left the field at the interval with Arsenal a goal down, scored by van Persie, their former striker and captain, early in the match after a mistake by Thomas Vermaelen – although Santos was arguably also culpable in the build-up.

Wenger said that he had spoken with Santos and explained that asking for an opponent’s shirt during a match sends out the wrong signal to supporters, with the manager suggesting that cultural differences may explain why the Brazilian, who has been in English football just over a year, thought it was acceptable.

I believe that was not the right thing to do at all. I don’t even understand it. That’s the difference of culture. I can understand that an English guy doesn’t understand it and I’m French and I don’t understand it either,” Wenger said.

He added: “He is completely in a different world when he does that. He cares and he understands today what it means and, believe me, he will never do it again.”

The Telegraph meanwhile claims Santos’ place in the side to play Schalke in the Champions League is under threat despite Kieran Gibbs not yet being ready to return to the side. Wenger is said to be considering playing Vermaelen at left-back in place of Santos and pairing Per Mertesacker with Laurent Koscielny in the centre of defence.

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