Arsenal as unpredictable as ever with transfer window signings

Arsene Wenger pulls off unlikely deals again with moves for Andre Santos and Chu-Young Park

Arsene Wenger has rarely been an easy man to predict in the transfer market, and he maintained his reputation this week by bringing in players not even a single story had linked him with.

Despite three months’ worth of rumour and hearsay, nobody had suggested Arsenal would sign the Brazilian left-back Andre Santos from Fenerbahce or the South Korean striker Park Chu-young from Monaco.

Wenger’s decision to sign a left-back and allow Armand Traore to join QPR was a major surprise and one that has been influenced by another injury-ravaged period in Kieran Gibbs’ career.

The England international, 21, lasted just one and a half games of the season before going down with a foot problem that has ruled him out of the past three games.


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Having twice suffered broken metatarsals in his fledgling Arsenal career, Gibbs has spent more time on the treatment table than in the team and Wenger decided he could not gamble on such a key position.

Traore, having spent two of the past three seasons on loan, had somewhow returned to the club and the first team at Old Trafford, but his display pretty much summed up an Arsenal career that never fulfilled the potential he had after arriving from Monaco in 2006.

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Santos has cost the Gunners in the region of �5m, something of a bargain given that he has 22 caps for Brazil and a wealth of Champions League experience with Fenerbahce.

However, the Istanbul club’s expulsion from the tournament and likely relegation from the Turkish top flight due to match-fixing allegations, has opened the door to their players leaving and Arsenal acted quickly.

Santos, 28, has sufficient caps in the last three years to be granted a work permit although he was not part of the Brazil squad at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Wenger said of his new signing: “Santos is a quality player, with the ability to both defend well and get forward and help with attacks. He has experience in the Champions League and for Brazil and has proven he can deliver at the highest level. We welcome Santos to the Club and look forward to him having a big impact for us.”

After completing his move on Wednesday, Santos said: “I am delighted to have signed for Arsenal. It was one of my dreams to play for a major European football club and I have accomplished this.

“I am very happy to be part of this team. All the Brazilians who came to this club spoke wonders about it and I am delighted to be part of the Arsenal family.”

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