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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