Reyes looks to Gunners future
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jose Antonio Reyes says the FA Cup final will not be his last game for Arsenal.Jose Antonio Reyes insists that Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United will not represent his final bow as an Arsenal player.
The livewire Spanish forward has been heavily linked with a move back to his homeland with Real Madrid, after struggling to cope with the demands of a full Premiership season.
The former Sevilla star was duped into admitting he would welcome a move to Los Merengues through a radio hoax earlier this year, although Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has always maintained that he sees the player as a key part of the club's future.
In the absence of star striker Thierry Henry, Reyes could well be handed a starting role in the end-of-season showdown in Cardiff, and the 21-year-old declared that he is looking towards a bright future at the North London side - starting with Saturday's clash.
"Arsenal's fans have given me and the rest of the team fantastic support this season and I want to thank them for that," said Reyes.
"It's very important for me to play well for them in the cup final, and in the future, to repay that support.
"I have still enjoyed my first season in The Premiership.
"I have learned a lot about my own game and I now understand a different style of football as well as a whole new culture.
"Some people are saying that this might be my last match for Arsenal but I don't expect that to be the case.
"I have a contract with Arsenal so the club are the only people who can decide my future."
The final is the latest instalment in what is perhaps the biggest grudge match in English football, with the relationship between the two giants at an all-time low after a series of unsavoury events.
With both clubs trailing in the wake of Chelsea's Premiership domination the stakes are even higher as the FA Cup is the last chance to salvage some pride and silverware, and Reyes admitted that Arsenal are desperate to overcome their old adversaries.
After losing twice in the league to The Red Devils, Wenger's men have a point to prove, and their young Spaniard believes that a win could usher in a new era of success at Highbury.
"Arsenal's players want to win this match more than any other, we know a victory could set us up for a successful period," Reyes continued.
"It could be the beginning of a new era for the club, I thought we would challenge more for the other trophies this season and now we only have the FA Cup left.
"Now, I hope to lift it because it is very important the club has a title.
"The atmosphere will be incredible in Cardiff and we know that we want to give our supporters a lot of happiness by winning there.
"I don't think we should think too much about what happened between us and United earlier in the season.
"The cup is all about bringing the club success and making our fans happy."
|Man Utd 13/8 Draw 2/1 Arsenal 6/4 -|
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