Maligned defender Andre Santos leaves Arsenal to join Gremio on loan

Andre Santos (right) has incurred the wrath of Arsenal fans all season for his inconsistent play.
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

LONDON (AP) -Arsenal has allowed much-maligned defender Andre Santos to join Brazilian team Gremio on loan for the rest of the season.

Santos has become third-choice left back at the Premier League club - behind Kieran Gibbs and recent signing Nacho Monreal - and has been heavily criticized by Arsenal fans for some poor displays this season.

He also received stick for swapping shirts with former teammate Robin van Persie at halftime of Arsenal's 2-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford in November.

The Brazil international has played 36 games for Arsenal since signing in August 2011.

With Gibbs injured and Monreal cup-tied, Arsenal may now have to play Thomas Vermaelen at left back for the first leg of its Champions League last-16 match against Bayern Munich next week.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.