There were a lot of rumors suggesting Arsenal’s defender, Andre Santos would be transferred to another team even though Kieran Gibbs was announced as being out for a significant time. Santos did not manage to live up to expectations and had problems concentrating according to the gunner’s coach, Arsene Wenger. He was not a solution for Champions League matches and could not handle Premier League matches the way Arsenal’s coach would have wanted to plus he had become the de facto whipping boy for most Arsenal fans and blogs. With South America’s transfer period still active, Santos managed to secure a last minute move and is destined for Brazilian club Gremio on a 6 month loan deal. This was an expected move on the full-backs’ behalf considering his arrival in Brazil just one day prior to signing the contract.
Gremio officially announced the 29 year old Brazilian international’s signing right after he passed the physical exam. In recent statements he said that he chose Gremio because he wants to contribute to winning as many trophies as possible.
Santos had a rough two year period with Arsenal. After being transferred from Fenerbahce on the last day of the summer transfer window of 2011 he did not manage to compete with English international Kieran Gibbs for a place in the starting team. In recent times, Wenger made it clear that even with Gibbs out with a serious injury, Santos was not going to be his first option. The Frenchman signed Spanish international Nacho Monreal during the last few hours of the recent transfer window and even played him a few days after.
Santos played for Corinthians in 2009 and has an excellent fan base in Brazil which will probably help boost his moral. He also represented Flamengo, Figueriense, and Atletico Mineiro in his homeland. When arriving in Brazil, the defender said he will need some time before he is in top shape but that five or six games should be more than enough.
The Brazilian defender is one of the least popular players that has set foot in the Emirates Stadium. He was often criticized for his performances and none of his 36 matches that he played for Arsenal were particularly memorable. Fans are clearly considering his departure as a positive thing even though three of Arsenal’s defenders are unavailable because of injury related problems. He was also considered to be one of Wenger’s rather desperate last minute acquisitions and unluckily for him just when he had started to play well, he picked up an injury that seemingly damaged his opportunities quite badly. He returned overweight from it, had some trouble with the law and has performed poorly since then. Fans are hoping that his loan to Gremio will turn into a permanent transfer.