Bem Vindo André Santos

By Walter Broeckx

In another article about one of our new signings I would like to present you our new left back Rudolph André des Santos but you can call him André Santos. And I will call him like that from now on.

He was born in Sao Paulo on 8 March 1983 and is 28 years young. For a footballer rather old and certainly for a player that has been bought by Arsenal. But remember Arshavin also was around this age when we bought him.

André Santos began his career at Figueirense, from 2002 to 2004, when he won the Championship of Santa Catarina. He then was loaned to Flamengo and with this club he won the Brazil cup.  He later on was loaned to Atletico Mineiro and helped this club to regain its place in the elite of football in Brazil after winning the Brazilian championship series B.

In 2007, he returned to Figueirense, where he excelled at playing left back, playing the final of the Brazil Cup, losing the final to Fluminense.

In 2008, he went to  Corinthians, who had fallen for the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie B and  the main goal of the season was to return to Serie A. André Santos arrived at the Parque São Jorge seen as just an enhancement to make up the cast. But 2008 was the year that  André Santos exploded.

The left-back played in the  Cup final in Brazil, won the runner-up again, this time losing the title to the Sport Recife. But at the end of the season Corinthians managed to go back to the highest division in Brazil.
The year 2009 was for Andre Santos, without doubt, his best year. He won four titles, two with Corinthians, one with the Brazilian national team (continental cup), and also one for Fenerbahçe (the Turkish super cup), the club he joined in 2009. He could have gone to Roma or Juventus who also were interested in signing him in those days.

In Fenerbache he first had to battle for the left back place against Roberto Carlos the famous Brazilian left back. He took over the place of Roberto Carlos who then left Fenerbahce.

He then also had the left back spot in the Brazilian national team after his successful spell at the Continental cup. But he didn’t went to the World cup. He literally missed the buss when Brazil was playing in Bolivia and was thrown out of the pre-selection by Dunga. The new coach of the Brazil national team did give him another chance in the Copa America this season. He has got 18 selections for the Brazil national team and one could say that those are the hardest to earn of all the national teams.

How will he play for Arsenal? Well, he will be a typical Arsène Wenger left back. Very attacking that is. As he is coming over to replace Clichy we can compare his statistics and way of playing with him. He is a bit taller than Clichy with his 1m80 or 5fr11in (Clichy 1m76 or 5ft9in). As he is Brazilian we can be sure that he has all the skill and technical ability that he needs to be a success in the EPL.

However there is one thing that goes through the whole career of André Santos.  Because of his attacking style of play he also finds himself on the score sheet now and then. Again I compare to Gael Clichy. And Clichy played 280 games in the first teams so far and in those games he scored 2 goals. One goal every 5 years one could say.

But Andre Santos played 203 games in the first division so far and in those  games he scored 28 goals. That is not like Clichy 1 one goal in 5 years but 1 goal in 7 GAMES.

So if he keeps this record going (and he has had that record going for a while now) we could have a left back that could have some 5 goals for Arsenal this season. And that is something I love a lot about our new left back. And also we must remember that having him will mean that Gibbs will have more time to recover from his injuries and will have a great role model in an attacking left back who can score goals. If Gibbs keeps his eyes open, learns and gets fitter and less injured he could be completely ready in 2 years time and take over when André Santos reaches the age of 30.

About his personal live we can also mention that he  married in May 27, 2011 in Santa Catarina with the dentist, Sue Leal, and awaits the arrival of the couple’s first child. A boy, to be called Arthur.

PS: And if the title is wrong I blame it on some translating machine as I don’t know a word of Portuguese so I just asked my computer to say : Welcome, André Santos.


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20 Replies to “Bem Vindo André Santos”

  1. An interesting post but I would have liked to have read something about the pros and cons of his DEFENDING.
    If he is an attacker, what are his “tracking back” strengths? I was never a fan of Clichy on that part of his game.

  2. One of his strong points should be his speed and he should have a great engine. Looking forward to see him on Saturday. 😉

  3. Some of his forward play looks amazing, excited to see him, hopefully he is solid defensivly as well, if so we gonna have a great player on our hands, our new look team sounds very promising, wish Wilshere was back lol, but I’m sure we can cope till then now we have some reinforcements.

  4. Please check your grammar “He then also had the left back spot in the Brazilian national team after his successful spell at the Continental cup. But he didn’t went to the World cup.”

  5. Ebia – I think before you criticise anyone for their use of the language in the sort of way that you have done, you should at least consider which language is the writer’s native tongue. In this case the surname of the writer will give the matter away – if you know anything about English names you might know that Broeckx is certainly not an English name.

    Walter in fact is from Belgium, and his native tongue is Flemish, so I would invite you to write your response again, in Flemish, and I would invite Walter to write back and correct any errors.

    Really, what is the point of such a comment apart from to show what a prat you are?

  6. Congratulations, Walter! It’s a good article about André Santos. The title is correct. I would add “Boa sorte, André Santos” (Good luck, André Santos). The correct name of Brazilian Second Division is Série B. For those who are don’t familiar with brazilian championships, every state has its championship. In Santa Catarina, there are two big teams, Figueirense and Avaí. Those championships are important because of the local rivalry.
    André Santos is a good player, but unfortunately he isn’t a complete left back. He is strong and he has a good pace, technique and can score goals, but defensively he is not good.
    There are many complaints in Brazilian media about his presence in national team. Many people saying that he was called up by Mano Menezes because he was his manager in Corinthians. I consider him better than Clichy.
    From what little I know, he’s very polite and an excellent professional. It’s not that kind of player that likes to fool around.
    I really like to see a Brazilian player in Arsenal again and I hope he has much success.

  7. Woolwich Peripatetic,
    Really interested in reading your analysis of how Gervinho/Santos as a better tandem than Clichy/Arshavin on the left side. I know Clichy/Arshavin was awful and a clear channel toward our goal, too many times because the back tracking was spotty to non-existent. I’ve gotten a lot from your earlier analyses and would like you to weigh in on how the new G/S would diminish last season’s liability.

  8. p.s. Woolwich, as I was writing, Natanael_Br_Gooner posted his interesting comments, including how Santos is ill-regarded from a defensive standpoint in Brasil, so perhaps you could factor this into your overall analysis. Cheers.

  9. @bob,
    Taken in isolation, is Santos any better than Clichy? Probably not, Clichy may even be the superior ‘defender’ if you can believe it.
    Of course if a solid defence was absolutely essential then dour, boring football would rule the world.
    What does a left flank of Santos + Gervinho offer? The capability to push the opponent’s right flank back up the pitch. Santos is a credible goal scoring threat all by himself, which Clichy never really was. On top of this you have Gervinho’s movement and his own defensive effectiveness.
    The idea is to win the battle for that flank before the game even starts. If teams worry about pushing too far up the right flank to be hit on the counter then our left side automatically becomes stronger.
    If you think back to the invincibles, who’s the deepest player on the left flank? Robert ‘Take that Patrick’ Pires. Most teams would look to play down their right flank (since most players are right footers) but would be so preoccupied trying to hold back the Cole-Pires-Henry onslaught.

  10. Thank you Natanael_Br_Gooner. Very interesting.

    So, Walter and Woolwich Peripatetic, would it be fair to describe Santos as a more effective Traore, or an Eboue + goalscoring/creating? What’s he like at winning headers?

  11. @FunGunner,
    Impossible to say without seeing him in an Arsenal shirt. If other teams feel that doubling up on him and leaving Gervinho loads of space in behind their right back is an acceptable risk then he’s going to look like Traore. The moment Gervinho turns into a deadly menace (if he hasn’t already) to their right flank, they’ll drop deeper to congest him and Santos will be able to run at them.
    Arshavin doesn’t track back or close down his opposing full back as effectively. If you look at our right flank, not only is Sagna a world class defender, he has Walcott in front of him who seems to have learnt to use his pace to defend. If you can keep up with the guy in possession, even if you can’t dispossess him, you can alter the angle of his run, block his passing options, slow him down and if necessary put in a reducer. As a forward in a team with a high defensive line you have to buy your defenders time to get back into position.

    The joke is, all this stuff is straight out of the schools of Michels and Sacchi. Any idiot (myself included) can read up about them on the internet. Once you understand how attacking football can be played with defensive solidity then it becomes very easy to see what will work and what won’t, how inferior players can work as a team to beat superior individuals, all sorts of interesting things.

  12. Sorry, but mindless abuse and childish name calling are not accepted on this site. Bit of a sad way to spend your time really – but then that is just my opinion.

  13. Natanael_Br_Gooner – interesting comments about Santos, since I’ve also read that he is not liked in Brazil for not being a very ‘Brazilian’ left back in that he stays back too much and the supporters did not like that he was keeping the more flair players out!

    I guess we won’t know until we see how he plays for Arsenal. As long as the whole team do their job defensively and offensively, I’m sure we’ll be fine.

  14. I have compared him with 2 of his fellow Brazilians, one of whom he displaced at Fenerbache. He strikes me as a more Dani Alves type defender, offering extremely rapid and dangerous attacking options and an adequate if unspectacular defensive ability. If he can perform like either Alves or Carlos, then we’ll have a gem. He seems to have abundant pace and a wicked shot so that’s a plus as well. I agree with Woolwich Peripatetic that if he can keep opposing midfield and defenders preoccupied with his attacking threat and Gervinho can work well with him, then the best defense will definitely be a great offense. He scored 1 goal per 5 games which is a very respectable output for a fullback. His goals against average was about the same so that seems a fair trade!

  15. The more I consider the Santos purchase the more positive I get. At first I hadnt seen much and heard that he is great going fowrad but not as defensive as “normal” leftbacks. But there are 2 ways of reading this. Brazilian FBs are a treasured position – its hardly as if there is a lack of competition for this position in Brazil, ie to be 1st choice Brazil FB means rather more than in England. Secondly he comes straight from winning the league and while the price might suggest lower quality actually we got him far cheaper than Fenebache paid for him just two years earlier. We got him cheap as the Turkish club have imploded due to scandal.

    So an attacking league winner we pick up cheap even though hes an international for one of the top 4 teams in the world? A classic Wenger deal. And if Gibbs stays injury free he may not even start 1st choice.

    Whats not to like?

  16. even if he is not great defensively, i think he will be a good addition to the team. all players have their strengths and if we can utilize this, we will be pretty decent – maybe he will be pushed up whilst sagna is more conservative? maybe song or frimpong will have to stay back more?

    santos does look decent attacking wise, i think we need a player like this who is not scared of taking players on and taking shots from distance (like arshavin when he first arrived).

    anyway, still excited to see him and im sure he will bring a few moments of magic!

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