Andre Santos has revealed his admiration for legendary left-back Roberto Carlos and confirmed that he spoke to a number of Arsenal’s former Brazilian players before making the move to England.
The 28-year-old, who was signed on deadline day from Fenerbahce, played briefly alongside Carlos in Turkey before his compatriot moved to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.
Reflecting on what he learned from the 38-year-old , Santos told the Arsenal official matchday programme:
“He’s been a very important person in my career. It was a short period with him but a brilliant learning experience. I’m a fan of his, he’s always been one of my favourite players and he taught me a lot.
“It was very important to share a livelihood with him and be by his side – he shared a lot of experiences from his career and of playing in World Cups for example.
“Today he’s a great friend of mine and doing well for his club in Russia.”
Eager to get the lowdown on life in North London, Santos also spoke warmly of the advice given to him by a number of Arsenal’s former Brazilian players including Silvinho, Gilberto, Denilson, Eduardo and Edu.
“I spoke to all of them, and they offered me the best recommendations about playing for Arsenal. Now I hope to bring lots of joy, to emulate what they did – and to be able to speak good English as quickly as possible.”
Set to challenge Kieran Gibbs for a place in Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up, Santos also made clear that is full of attacking intent and considers himself something of a goal scorer despite being defender.
“In my two seasons at Fenerbahce,” he continued. “I played most of the games and scored quite a few goals.
“That’s definitely one of my strong points – coming up to help the attack and creating chances for them or for myself. But I don’t forget that the first thing a left-back needs to do is defend, especially in a tough league like this.
“English football is some of the best in the world and I hope to learn a lot here.”