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How a former Liverpool defender helped Arsenal shift Andre Santos

Arsenal are preparing to loan Andre Santos to Gremio, but do they have a former Liverpool defender to thank?

A fortnight ago it was Liverpool who became the latest team to expose Andre Santos' defensive deficiencies, when the Brazilian came on for the injured Kieran Gibbs.

It appears clear his showing in the 2-2 draw will be the Brazilian's last ever in an Arsenal shirt, with Santos already being flown out to his homeland to complete a switch to Gremio.

Gremio are the former club of Ronaldinho, Lucio, and ex-Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva, and Santos has already said his ambitions are to win the title in Brazil during his loan spell.

But like every move has an element of fortune and circumstance; Nacho Monreal is only an Arsenal player because Gibbs got injured - Santos' move to Gremio has it's own tale of fortune.

The left-back spot at the Brazilian club has like Arsenal's, been a problem for them.

In the summer the club hoped to have solved it by signing Liverpool veteran Fabio Aurelio - a left-back who made more than 130 appearances for the Reds between 2006 and 2012, renowned for his dead ball abilities.

Among Aurelio's best strikes include his 35-yarder at Stamford Bridge in the 4-4 Champions League game, and a stunner at Old Trafford in Liverpool's 4-1 demolition of Manchester United in 2009.

The problem is for Gremio, is that Aurelio' injury problems have made him a non-starter, quite literally.

In his final season at Liverpool he only made three appearances, so they should have seen it coming, but Aurelio was beset by more bad fortune on arrival in Brazil - he ruptured his knee ligaments and is yet to play a competitive game for Gremio.

This left them with just 19-year-old Alex Telles at left-back, so bringing in Santos - who is a Brazilian international after all, will strengthen their options immeasurably.

So while Arsenal fans will be delighted to see Santos off, Gremio supporters are just as glad to see him arrive, but without the injury to former Liverpool star Fabio Aurelio - It's highly likely Santos would be there at all.

image: © silver astronaut

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