UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 11, at 10:45 a.m. ET by Tim Daniels
Arsenal confirmed the loan deal with Gremio for Santos on their official site. It was revealed the defender's stay in Brazil will last until the end of the current campaign.
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The 29-year-old defender joined the Gunners from Fenerbahce in 2011, but struggled with consistency and had fallen out of favor at Emirates. He should receive more playing time with the Tricolor in Brazil's top league.
Santos made 36 appearances for Arsenal over the past two seasons. Falling behind Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal made him expendable, and it's better for the Gunners if he gets regular playing in an attempt to find top form.
He rarely found it during his time with Arsenal, leading to manager Arsene Wenger seeking replacement options. Monreal filled the void, leaving Santos without a starting spot and made his move to Brazil easier to accept for the Gunners.
ESPN passed along comments from the Brazil international as he prepared to finalize his move:
"I have the best expectations," Santos told Lancenet. "[Gremio] are one of the biggest clubs in the country. "I've come to Gremio to be a champion. I am very excited about this project. I have dreamed of working with Vanderlei Luxemburgo. He is a top manager in our football."
Santos will need some time to get ready for matches after falling out of favor with Arsenal, but should then step right in at left back for his new club. Although he's always had the talent to succeed, he never found a comfort zone at Emirates.
He previously played in Brazil with Corinthians and Figueirense before joining Fenerbahce. Then he made the high-profile move to Arsenal, which began with high hopes but never panned out as the club was expecting.
By moving to Gremio he gets a chance to re-establish himself as a viable starter. The Premier League experience should help him excel in Brazil, but Wenger and Co. will be watching closely because he can still provide some valuable depth if he finds top form.
The terms of the agreement were not released.
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