Arsenal midfielder Wellington Silva has sent a defiant message to Gunners supporters after confirmation that he's finally allowed to link up with the first-team squad next season, following four years in the wilderness away from north London.
The 22-year-old Brazilian arrived at the Emirates Stadium way back in 2011, but due to work permit problems he was unable to play in England and as a result has been sent out to Spain on loan.
After spells at Levante, Alcoyano, Ponferradina, Murcia and Almeria this season, Silva was granted a Spanish passport last week which now makes him eligible to join up with the Premier League giants and challenge for a place in Arsene Wenger's side next term.
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Although the South American's career has stalled somewhat over the past few years he's eager to make up for lost time, and outlined his lofty ambitions after being presented with an opportunity to show he has what it takes to forge a career with Arsenal.
"I am very happy and relieved,’" reflected Silva in an interview with Brazilian publication Sambafoot. "I’ve been waiting a long time and now’s the time to seize the opportunity – the doors will open."
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Despite Silva's obvious self-confidence there are still some doubts about the player's ability to succeed in England's top-flight having contributed a disappointing 11 goals in 112 appearances since 2011 - a pretty poor return for an attacking midfielder, albeit in a different country and competition.
Wenger is likely to assess the former Fluminense star in pre-season and will perhaps consider loaning him out again - but this time to a domestic club - to give him experience of playing regular football in England.
The veteran French tactician at least owes Silva a bit of time to prove his credentials after waiting so patiently for the chance to realise his dream and move one step closer to running out as an Arsenal player at the Emirates.
Gunners fans will certainly be intrigued, but remain well aware of the strength and depth in that area of the squad currently available to Wenger, which means the Brazil U21 international will find it even more difficult to force his way into contention.
Arsenal fans: Do you think you'll ever see Wellington Silva feature for Arsene Wenger's first-team? Share your thoughts below...
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