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Gremio coach's 'easy decision' to let Andre Santos head back to Arsenal

Arsenal full-back Andre Santos is unlikely to sign permanently with Gremio this summer.

Andre Santos' last appearance in an Arsenal shirt was one which saw Jordan Henderson embarrass him for Liverpool in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates, one which summed up his season.

The full-back could only watch on as Arsene Wenger signed a replacement in Nacho Monreal the very next day, and then sent Santos out on loan.

He signed with Gremio on loan, and scored in only his second appearance for the club.

Santos helped solve an injury crisis at the club, also playing in the Copa Libertadores, but now competition for his place has increased.

Young Alex Telles has returned from injury, as has last summer's signing, Fabio Aurelio from a cruciate knee injury sustained right after arriving from Liverpool.

This has meant that plans are already in effect to phase out Santos - who will not be retained when his loan agreement ends at the end of June.

The club's manager announced today after their 2-0 win over Nautico that signing him or extending his loan would simply be too expensive, with the club needing to cut back on spending.

Former Brazil coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo said, as reported by Lancenet: "Andre is no longer part of our team. Makes room for Alex (Telles), and this decision was made with ease. This is a great player and an expensive contract. It worked. But you can not continue."

It leaves the question as to if Santos has a future at Arsenal when he heads back this summer?

With Kieran Gibbs returned from injury, Santos is likely to be third choice - but we don't expect him to hang around.

His performances for Gremio even saw him called up by Brazil, although he missed out on the Confederations Cup squad, but he will still harbour ambitions of making the 2014 World Cup - however ludicrous that may sound to those who watched him in an Arsenal shirt this season.

This will mean leaving the Gunners, preferably via a permanent deal rather than a loan - with sides in Turkey where he used to play with Fenerbahce credited with interest recently.

Alternatively while Gremio can't afford him, another side in Brazil may, having been impressed by his performances - perhaps Santos who have just netted a large fee from selling Neymar to Barcelona.

He could remain stubborn and fight for his place at Arsenal, but whether he will ever establish himself as the club's number one left-back? Put it this way, we doubt it.

Will Arsenal be able to shift Santos on a permanent deal this summer? What do you think?

image: © silver astronaut

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