Finally, Andre Santos, the defender who doesn’t like to defend, has left Arsenal.
The 30 year old departs North London for Brazilian side Flamengo, where he had a short period loan earlier in his career after spending two seasons at the Emirates.
Santos joined the Gunners from Turkish side Fenerbahce in August 2011 and failed to make an impact in Arsene Wenger’s side. During that span Santos made 33 appearances for the Gunners before losing the battle for the left-back starting spot to Kieran Gibbs.
Gifted going forward, Santos was also known as a liability to the Arsenal defense, frequently leaving a gap that opposing strikers were keen to access. In addition to his defense frailties, Santos infuriated Arsenal supporters after he exchanged shirts with Manchester United’s Robin van Persie at half-time of the two side’s clash last fall.
He later apologized to his teammates for the shirt exchange and Wenger did his best to ease the tension by chalking it up to cultural differences. “I spoke [to Santos] about that but I do not want to make too big a story of it,” Arsene Wenger said. “It was not the right thing to do at all but that is not an explanation for our bad performance. There is a difference of culture. . . [Santos] is completely in a different world when he does that. He understands today what it means and he will never do it again.”
With Santos out of the picture, Gibbs is expected to remain the first choice left-back while Nacho Monreal, signed from Malaga in last January’s transfer window, will provide plenty of competition.