Barcelona midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos believes he has benefitted from a change of Coach at the club this summer.
The Mexican international had been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou during the close season, in particular to Real Sociedad, but the replacement of Tito Vilanova by Tata Martino has given him fresh hope he still has a future with the Catalans.
However, Dos Santos insisted he wished Vilanova all the best in his fight to overcome serious illness.
“Before anything else I’d like to send a message of support and affection to Tito Vilanova. I hope he gets well soon,” Dos Santos told a Press conference.
“This year I’m hoping to play more so I’m able to show what I can do. Last season I didn’t get the opportunity.
“My decision to stay came after speaking to the new Coach, who told me he has confidence in me, and now I don’t want to let him down. He didn’t know anything about my future and I’d received some serious offers, like the one from Real Sociedad, but after he spoke to me I decided to stay.
“Last year wasn’t wasted, though, not at all. I learnt a lot from it and now I’m very excited, because it wasn’t easy. The change of Coach has been good for me.
“Real Sociedad are also a big team but I know I can be a success with Barca, although I’ll need to prove that in training.”
The 23-year-old is aware he will have a fight to get into Martino’s starting line-up, especially with the calibre of players at the new Coach’s disposal.
“We’ve got the best attack in the world. [Cristian] Tello is taking off. Alexis [Sanchez] and Neymar are really good for us, while Lionel Messi is the star man, although everyone brings something good to the team,” explained Dos Santos, who was also asked his views on Eric Abidal, Real Madrid and Thiago Alcantara.
“I think very highly of Eric and have a lot of affection for him, but I’m not getting involved in whether or not the club should have offered him a new contract.
“As for Madrid, we don’t need to be obsessed by them. They’ve got great players and this will be yet another year of intense rivalry.
“Thiago? I’m going to miss him and I’m sure he’ll be a success wherever he goes.”