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Transfer news: Andre Santos leaves Arsenal as he makes free transfer to Flamengo

Left-back returns to Brazil after a difficult spell for the Gunners in a move that cost them £6.8m in 2011

Arsenal left-back Andre Santos has joined Brazilian side Flamengo on a permanent move, with the Premier League club confirming the move on their official club website.

Santos joined the Gunners from Turkish side Fenerbahce in August 2011, and he went on to make 33 appearances for the north London side, although he was criticised for his care-free defending style that often saw him caught out of position.

The 30-year-old returns to the club that he spent a short loan period with earlier in his career, and he returns to his homeland after a difficult stint in England, leaving on a free transfer and signing a two-year-deal with his new club.

He cost Arsenal £6.8m two years ago, but was sidelined with a knee injury during his first season at the Emirates Stadium, where he made 21 appearances and scored three goals.

He played just 12 times last season before falling behind the fit-again Kieran Gibbs, and the addition of Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal saw him slip further down the pecking order, and he finished the season on-loan at Brazilian side Gremio.

He returns to Flamengo having made 22 appearances during a spell their in 2005/6, and he has also turned out for Corinthians and Atletico Mineiro.

The statement on the Arsenal website said: "Everybody at Arsenal would like to thank Andre for his contribution to the club and wish him well for his future career."