Let’s rank all Arsenal’s Brazilian players from Worst to Best

All Brazilians that played for Arsenal ranked.. by Dan Smith

With the recent arrivals, Edu is continuing to use his connections to bring Brazilian talent to Arsenal and if you believe some reports, he might not be finished this summer.

Here are all the Brazilians to play in the Prem for the Gunners, from worst to best…

Not the first Brazilian to prefer going forward over defending but given that he was a left back, your job is to be a little bit good at defending. He was effective going forward and scored a couple of goals.

Summed up the mentality of our squad at the time when he chose to swap shirts with Van Persie at half time against Man United

With Edu prepared to authorize the year longer contract that Chelsea were not, Willian made a lot of sense at the time, a player of proven Premiership quality who could immediately offer a young dressing room a winning mentality.

His debut at Fulham was easily his best but we would have to wait till our second from last home game of the season for his only League goal.

He’s since admitted he wanted to leave the Emirates after just three months of his arrival. Given that he only had to move across London, his struggles can’t be put down to a culture shock.

I sense he came from a different environment at Stamford Bridge with contrasting standards and he couldn’t adjust.

Deserves credit for ripping up his deal after one year, walking away from guaranteed money. Not all players would have done that

Part of a loan swap that saw Reyes go the other direction to Real Madrid. The ‘Beast’ didn’t start many games in the League but did in the Cups, famously scoring 4 at Anfield. His year in North London was harmless enough but not enough for a permanent switch

One of the several youngsters Mr. Wenger trusted in the transition between Highbury and the Emirates. After an Impressive break out season was one of several players paid over the odds to stay.

It meant when he suffered serious home sickness Arsenal had to carry on paying his wages when he went on loan back in South America. Not good enough on the ball to be a playmaker, not strong enough to be a DM

Long term Mr. Wenger didn’t trust his temperament to make him a first-choice defender, ironically what we were lacking at the time.
Best game for us was in the FA Cup Semi Final against Man City.
His form in La Liga since suggests we got rid too soon?

Gabriel M
Mikel Arteta has built a consistent partnership with Gabriel and White. The Gunners can now fight and grind out narrow wins like they wouldn’t have been to do in years previous.

Whisper it quietly, I do think some Gooners over hype him because they want to believe he’s at that level. In reality, he still makes too many mistakes to be considered world class.

David Luiz
When good, very good, when bad, an accident waiting to happen. Got more red cards and conceded more penalties in 2 years in North London then he did during 7 years at the Bridge.

His two best displays for us were in the FA Cup Semi Final and Final meaning he’s played a part in our history. Tactically vital to our attack, a centre back not afraid to step in midfield and/or pick a pass. Something Ben White is now trying to do.

Initially made an impact in the Europa League. His form conflicted how his peers were getting on in the Prem. This meant for a while he was the bright spot in a difficult spell, Gooners impressed with his work ethic and high intensity.

Injuries and management meant it took a while for Martinelli to be given a run in the team. The fear is Arteta will try and micromanage him instead of trusting him to express himself.

Was one of the first full backs we had where going forward was as crucial as defending. Had a great understanding with our left side, which was crucial to our attack, also capable of a stunning goal.

A long-term injury came at the worse time as in his absence saw the emergence of Ashley Cole. With Cole now first choice, Mr. Wenger was maybe too quick to assume the Brazilian couldn’t regain his fitness. He went on to be a squad player at Barcelona but lifted 2 Champions Leagues medals.

Took longer than he wanted to play for Arsenal after confusion regarding his passport. Became a crucial squad player in both titles he won with us, especially in the Invincible campaign. In many ways summed up Arsenal in that era. Lots of flair and technique but could also battle when needed and wouldn’t get bullied.
Ironically, given his job now, he refused a contract extension as he felt the board took too long to discuss new terms, leaving him not valued.

Gilberto Silva
An unsung hero in both the 2002 World Cup as well as the Invincible campaign. Was the partner Vieira had been looking for since Petit.
While we had flair elsewhere, Silva ensured we could match anyone physically. Undervalued in terms of how he helped a young squad transition from. Highbury to the Emirates.

The biggest compliment I can give is that you can argue ‘did we ever replace him?’

How would you rank Arsenal’s Brazilians from worst to best?


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  1. I don’t think gilberto is an unsung hero – he’s well recognised at arsenal and I believe his role in brazil’s wc win was lauded at the time, not least because he was a late replacement for the brilliant Emerson, but ended up playing every(?) game. The fact he was named the invisible Wall actually made him more noticed, ironically.

    Also, I don’t remember too much flair from edu – good player, though. He was more an unsung hero because he could step in for either gilberto or Vieira without the side suffering much.

      1. Amazing finisher with no real weaknesses. I honestly thought eduardo was going to be a top striker on a similar plane to Henry or RVP, but the injury ruined him before he could get going. Shame he never had a real chance

  2. Except for Santos they were all good players. The era they played in and the players they had around them impacted their contribution. Luiz and Willian were over the hill by the time we got them because they were cheap or free. Baptista was a luxury buy which did not work out. Paulista was not suited to the PL. Denilson played a million games but is compared unfavourably to Fabregas. Edu Gilberto played in the golden years before Chelsea and Man City money altered the PL landscape. Martinelli and Magalhaes are very good value players.

  3. Great list. I still think Willian should’ve been assigned as a regular starter on the left wing or in the CAM position, because he was too slow to be an RW

    I also agree that Gilberto and Edu are still the best Brazilian players who played at Arsenal. We wouldn’t have won EPL without them

      1. As a right-footed attacker, he could take his opponents on by cutting inside from the left wing as Sanchez did. The take-ons doesn’t require great pace, but it needs excellent close control skills

        When playing on the right wing, he couldn’t cut inside effectively due to his weaker left foot, so he had to race against the opposition’s LB to reach the byline or make long crosses

          1. In my opinion, his left foot isn’t as adept as Santi Cazorla’s, Heung-min Son’s and Ousmane Dembele’s

        1. So it is easier for him to try a new position at 30+ instead of the one he is used to playing his entire career? Also, I will have to disagree with you as the same speed is required on both sides, especially if a player is playing with on the opposite side and is forced to cut it, he definitely needs speed as well as he will not find any space to shoot even if he dribbles past his opponent. I can name 5 fast succesful inside forwards for every decent slow one.

          1. When a winger gets slower because of aging process, he’d better play in the most effective position than in the most physically demanding one. Giggs did it after he lost his pace

            Taking on players by cutting inside doesn’t require the same pace as reaching the byline. Because the winger doesn’t really have to dribble past his opponents, just taking them on sideways due to the bigger space in the middle of the field

  4. Gilberto was very disappointed in being overlooked for the captaincy when Vieira left, especially as most of the squad considered him the club leader anyway, while Mrs Silva looked out for the player’s families and arranged various functions for all to attend. I’m glad that he’s still so revered here and on most other Arsenal blogs.
    I suppose it would be just Santos & Willian as failures while the rest were average to good to fantastic.
    Edu is the best dresser by far.

    1. Denilson was a failure – he had the talent but something wasn’t right with him. I put it down to bring given too much too early, and subsequently taking it a bit easy. He could be brilliant against Barcelona or utd, but dreadful against Stoke or Aston villa – doesn’t add up for me.

  5. I have watched them all live many times and whilst Gilberto is the one I miss the most, all of them gave good accounts of themselves with, in my opinion, only Denilson who started well but quickly deteriorated. Our current crop, I believe will be part of our best Brazilians of all time, in both attack and defence.

  6. For me the only great Brazilian historically was Gilberto Silva. Many others were reasonable players but he is easily the best (so far…)

  7. As a fan who is concerned with the here and now and near(ie foreseeable) future, I reject the game of rating players who are no longer playing with us.
    I see no point in discussing mere academic pointlessness, when we all need to know about the HERE AND NOW AND NEAR FUTURE.
    As such, I am willing to rate only those Brazilian players in Dans list who are here now, in usefulness levels: GABRIEL, EXTREMELY USEFUL, MARTINELLI, EXTREMELY USEFUL. Other Brazilans who have not yet played, I see no point in judging at all.
    Nor Edu, is he is not a player right now. So it boils down to just two players, each extremely useful.
    Other Gooners are of course free to say as they wish and doubtless many will play Dans academic game.


    1. We get it, you’re smarter than everyone else and you don’t like Dan, congratulations.
      When I don’t like the concept of an article, I generally just ignore it (otherwise it can come off as needlessly negative…)

  8. ‘ I see no point in discussing mere academic pointlessness ‘…….as he continues to write an essay on the article lol

  9. For me, Gilberto Silva remains the Brazilian export to Emirates. He is close to the legendary Patrick Viera in DM position. He and Viera set a very high standard in the team that upto now, we have not been able to replace him. A very cool headed and unassuming player he was.

  10. For me, Gilberto Silva remains the best Brazilian export to Emirates. He is close to the legendary Patrick Viera in DM position. He and Viera set a very high standard in the team that upto now, we have not been able to replace him. A very cool headed and unassuming player he was.

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