Andre Santos has revealed all to the media on Arsene Wenger’s role in the defender’s move to Arsenal back in 2011, with the French manager convincing him to join over the phone.
Speaking to ESPN Brazil, in quotes reported by Sambafoot, Santos admitted he was unhappy with his situation at Turkish club Fenerbahce at the time, as they’d just been kicked out of the Champions League. As a result, he was very receptive to a phone call from Arsene Wenger.
“I was upset about the punishment given to Fenerbahce, then I received a call on my cellular from Wenger,” Santos said. “My agent told me he was going to call. We spoke in English and it was all good. Wenger said he wanted to work with me and that he’d followed my career in Brazil.
“I spoke to the President of Fenerbahce and I was very happy that he was willing to let me sign for them. The first year at Arsenal was very good, I played a lot and scored and assisted important goals in the Premier League and Champions League.”
Santos did make a pretty good start to life with Arsenal. The Brazilian scored memorably in the 5-3 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which remains the club’s last win at the stadium. He also grabbed a goal on his first start in the Champions League, against Olympiacos.
Unfortunately, the left-back then had to undergo ankle surgery, and things never quite returned to the way they were.
After brief spells in and out of the team, another injury in November 2012, and a media saga based on his decision to swap shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time, Santos left the club just a year and a half after joining it to go back to Brazil. He made 33 appearances for Arsenal in all.