Arsenal’s out of favour left-back Andre Santos is on the verge of returning to Brazil with Gremio. Santos joined the club from Turkish side Fenerbahce in the summer of 2011, but has fallen out of favour at the Emirates following some poor performances this season. As well as this, his relationship with the fans soured when he swapped shirts with former Gunner Robin Van Persie at half time during a match between Arsenal and Man United at Old Trafford in November 2012.
Arsenal’s first choice left-back Kieran Gibbs is currently injured, but Arsene Wenger opted to sign Nacho Monreal from Malaga on transfer deadline day instead of playing Santos during that period of time. Monreal is cup-tied in the Champions League having played in the competition for Malaga this season, but I would assume Thomas Vermaelen will play that position against Bayern Munich, assuming he is fit when that tie is played of course.
There has been no official announcement from either club yet, but Gremio confirmed that talks were taking place between the two parties on Friday. Lukas Podolski all but confirmed Santos’ departure from the club when he tweeted him the following message: “@Andre_santos27 We will miss you man, I wish u all the very best
#Gunner God bless you. ” and posted a link to a picture of himself and Santos in training at Arsenal.
So it appears as though Wenger has finally lost patience with Santos, who you could see from the early stages of his career at the club wasn’t a left-back. He’s not bad going forward, in fact he’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t have him as my starting left winger. He gives the ball away way too much and can’t defend, which of course is a major issue if you play in a defensive position.
As mentioned earlier, the deal has yet to be confirmed by either Arsenal or Gremio. It is also unconfirmed whether the deal is a permanent one or just a loan deal, but from what I have read it is more likely to be a loan move.
I will cheer anyone that wears they Arsenal shirt and wish them all the best. Santos clearly wasn’t good enough at left-back and very frustrating to watch, but the guy had character, I’ll give him that. He was a lovable figure despite not being the best footballer around, like Emmanuel Eboue for example. I wish him the best if he is moved back to Brazil, whether on loan or permanently.