The Worlds Favourite Playground

Saturday, Nov 27th

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Brazilian youth prodigy Victor Andrade, dubbed the ‘New Neymar’, has sent scouts in Europe scurrying after sending out feelers about his desire to play on the continent.  In 22 senior appearances for Santos, the 17 year old has scored thrice and assisted twice. He would be a welcome addition to the youth ranks of any top team in Europe. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are learnt to be keeping tabs on the young Brazilian.

Andrade, much like Neymar has refused to sign a new contract following the expiration of his current deal at the end of the current season. Andrade insists that tales of Europe, he heard from his godfather and Brazil international Robinho have inspired him to pack his travelling cases and look for greener pastures across the Atlantic.

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Brazilian side Flamengo are close to wrapping up a move for Arsenal defender Andre Santos. The 30 year old had openly declared his disappointment at making a return to the Emirates, following a 4 month loan spell at Gremio. However, media reports suggest that the left back is back in Brazil for his medical at Flamengo and will ink a contract with the Mengão today.

Flamengo's Director of Football Paulo Pelaipe shared in an interview with UOL, "The Arsenal document we were waiting has come. Everything is agreed between the player and the club. We are just waiting for the document that authorises the transfer to announce him, it should come by Friday. Andre Santos is already at the club's hotel for the medical."

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Arsenal outcast Andre Santos has made clear his displeasure at having to return to the London club after a six month loan spell at Gremio. Santos had secured the loan deal in February this year during the winter transfer window and was looking to make the move immutable, however the Brazilian club lacks the resources to afford him permanently.

When talking to the radio station Gre-Nal, Santos revealed, “My loan deal is over. It was six months long and now I am returning. Gremio had an agreement with Arsenal and I have to return. I wanted to stay. Gremio were fair regarding everything. I felt well there and I wanted to win a title before leaving. Unfortunately there is no deal and I had to return to Arsenal."

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Despised by the fans and criticized for his lack of ability, Brazilian left-back Andre Santos has vowed to return to Arsenal and win over his critics, vehemently denying that his career with the Gunners is over, despite having been sent out on loan to Gremio.

Signed by Arsenal from Fenerbahce for a sizeable sum of £6.2 million, many believe that Andre Santos' acquisition is one of the rare mistakes that Arsene Wenger has made in the transfer window in recent times, and the scout that recommended the player should be quite emphatically be given the boot.

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Arsene Wenger’s desperate search for a new left-back is well-documented and leading Spanish media house AS reports that Malaga’s Nacho Monreal has flown to London to complete a 10 million move to Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs’ thigh injury has force Wenger to make an urgent dip into the transfer window on deadline day, with Valenciennes’ Gaetan Bong and Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Amorebieta also being linked with the Gunners.

Arsenal plucked Santi Cazorla from Malaga earlier in the season and the Spaniard has been an unqualified success. Monreal also comes with plenty of talent in the locker, spending five seasons at Osasuna before moving to Malaga in 2011. Like most players from his country, Monreal is comfortable with the ball at his feet, a trait that will be vital at a club like Arsenal. The 26 year old also has a few Spanish International caps to his name, fighting with Barcelona's Jordi Alba for the left-back slot and he would be joining a growing Iberian contingent at the Emirates if the deal goes through, although Monreal will be cup-tied in the Champions League having already represented Malaga this season.

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With the haunting memory of their 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United still fresh in the minds of most, and the prospect of lining up against the Premier League's Golden Boot winner and their former skipper Robin van Persie to contend with additionally, one would excuse Arsenal for feeling that the chips are more than a little stacked against them when they travel to Old Trafford on Saturday to take on the 19-time Champions. Throw in the fact that United have already hammered in 24 goals in just 9 games so far this year, making them the League's top scorers, most pundits would have you believe another thrashing could well be on the cards.

The good news for Arsenal is that United's defence has been leaking goals this year, giving the Gunners every reason to believe they will be able to score more than a few themselves. For once in their lives, Arsenal fans would not relish the prospect of being in Arsene Wenger's shoes as he goes about making what is a very tough decision on playing style, formations and team selection. However, Wenger's biggest concern will no doubt be how to tackle the huge mismatch between Antonio Valencia and Andre Santos, given the former's impeccable showing against Chelsea last week, and the absence of natural defensive skills in the latter.

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Arsene Wenger has enjoyed the rare luxury of defensive stability this season with the positive results for all to see as Arsenal currently have the 2nd best defensive record in the Premier League. The improved defensive performances have been achieved despite injuries to regulars Wojciech Szczesny and Bacary Sagna as Vito Mannone and Carl Jenkinson have impressively stepped into their shoes. The manager has multiple options in the other positions, none more so than the left-back spot where a rejuvenated Kieran Gibbs has kept out Andre Santos.

Gibbs has started all seven of Arsenal’s league games so far, restricting Santos to just two substitute appearances and one League Cup start. But with Gibbs picking up a thigh injury at West Ham, the Brazilian will be cast into the limelight against Norwich City later today.

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