Goalkeeper Vito Mannone has revealed that the prospect of a season-long loan move to a Championship club was being discussed in the summer and that he's now glad he stayed.
Mannone has put in some impressive performances and has impressed team mates and fans alike. He was Man of the Match in the match against Fulham as he pulled off several saves to keep his side in the game.
Speaking to the Official Matchday Programme, Mannone said: "In the summer, yes, we had a talk about a loan move. The boss was quite happy for me to go somewhere and play, because as you can see now, I was ready to play games.
"Now things have changed, it's a different situation, but in the summer I was looking forward to a loan move, to get some experience. But if you play five games in the Arsenal first team, that's equivalent to the experience of about three months in the Championship.
"A couple of teams were lined up, but then Lukasz got injured and they told me to stay. It's funny how things happen in football.
"When I got back into the dressing room [after the Fulham game], all the players chanted my name. I was very happy. The best thing is when your team-mates are pleased and proud of you.
"One of the most important things for a goalkeeper is for the team to have confidence in you. If you do the right thing it's important for them as well because they are nice and relaxed, they know I am there. I can sort out some problems for them and they can do the same for me.
"They are calling me Gigi [Buffon, the Italian No 1]. It's a very big compliment for me. Even in training now, when I make a save - I'm not Vito anymore!"
When I got back into the dressing room [after the Fulham game], all the players chanted my name. I was very happy. The best thing is when your team-mates are pleased and proud of you.
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