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Andre Santos – An Ideal Replacement

Ever since the departure of Ashley Cole, Arsenal have never had an ideal replacement for the England international.

He was replaced with a talented and error prone Frenchman Gael Clichy, Clichy  had very good pace which went well with his defending and in his last couple of years at Arsenal he improved as a defender, but Clichy was never an ideal replacement to Ashley Cole, he never offered the defensive stability and the attacking prowess the England international possessed.

He had a few world class moments in the form of the assist he provided to Robin Van Persie against Barcelona at the Emirates in 2011, the goal was arguably one of the best goal the Emirates Stadium has ever seen. Without these moments Clichy is largely a mediocre footballer who had a very shy presence in the attack and who was not so confident while defending as well; the way he cleared the ball during set pieces, largely proves my point.

His refusal to sign a new deal at Arsenal was a blessing in disguise for the Gunners because he was never an ideal replacement to Ashley Cole. With his departure Arsene Wenger made a £6 million pound move for the Brazil international left back Andre Santos, and the Brazilian has so far been impressive for the Gunners except for the fact that his speed and defending is poor which is mostly because he is adjusting to the rigorous demands of English football.

His dominant display in the attack has brought a certain level of confidence amongst the Gunners, this was evident in the game against Chelsea, Santos kept the ball well and was often found drifting in the midfield with confidence and relative ease allowing Gervinho and Ramsey, who occasionally found space from the left flank, to break the Chelsea defence. His goal in that game showed us how he exposed Jose Bosingwa in the counter attack, when the Portugal international was caught out of his place.

Arsenal could never expect all of this from their former left back Gael Clichy, the Frenchman would have allowed more space for Chelsea to attack from, and he would have rarely ventured forward to support the attack and create problems for Chelsea in the way Santos did.  With all that said and a little more expected, I would conclude by saying, Andre Santos will turn out to be the ideal replacement for Ashley Cole.

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