By Joe Brewin

Robin van Persie has heaped praise on left-back Andre Santos for his bright start to life at Emirates Stadium.

The Brazilian defender has featured heavily since his move from Fenerbahce in the summer, slotting into the side seamlessly in the absence of Kieran Gibbs.

Van Persie has been impressed with Santos’ impact on the Arsenal first team, likening him to former Brazil international Roberto Carlos.

“When he first arrived I remember him saying he’d need five or six games to get his fitness up before things would really kick off for him,” the striker told

“It was true - he’s grown stronger and fitter in every single game, and what I really like about him is his confidence on the ball.

“He’s firstly a left-back, but he’s so much more than that - he gets the ball to his feet, plays one-twos, looks after the ball with style and plays a bit like Roberto Carlos.

“He knows how to choose between holding his defensive position and going forward - and when he goes, he is committed. I love his play.

“I remember a couple of weeks ago playing not just a one-two but a one-two-three-four with him, and that’s the kind of thing you enjoy. It’s a joy to play with him because he loves football, loves finding solutions, and I don’t really see full-backs as confident as Andre in other teams.

“We all feel that when he has the ball he will do something useful with it. You know that, even if he is faced with a couple of guys, he’ll choose the right thing.”

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2 Dec 2011