Amidst all the chaos at Stamford Bridge this season, another important event has grabbed the eyeballs of Chelsea fans, the 2023 South American U-20 Championship taking place in Columbia. Why do you ask? Well, among the 22 signings (permanent and on loan), Chelsea had also purchased the young Brazilian forward Andrey Santos from the second-tier outfit of Brazil, Vasco de Gama.
Few had an idea of what Andrey was when was announced that he will be joining Chelsea from Vasco de Gama. But all the games & highlights from the U20 tournament are pointing very strongly in the direction that Chelsea might have a gem on their hands.
How did he fare in U20 South American championship?
Andrey Santos had eyes from all over the world, especially Chelsea fans who wanted to see what their new signing can do on a big stage for his age. He already had performed really well in U20 World Cup qualifying campaign, scoring five goals in seven games and now it was time for U20 South American Championship tournament.
At group stages, he helped Brazil top their group A by scoring 3 goals in 4 matches and he continued his superb form scoring three goals in the knockouts including a superb opening goal in the 84th minute as Brazil emerged 2-0 winner. He was awarded ‘The Player Of The Tournament’ & shared the golden boot award with Vitor Roque.
— CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) February 13, 2023
Brazil is home to some of the greatest players to ever play the beautiful game. Pele, Ronaldo Nazario, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho & Neymar just to name a few. Andrey Santos has a common trait with all these greats and that is all of them showed a potential that made the football fans go ‘THAT IS IN THE STAR IN THE MAKING’ from a very young age. While many players take some time to adjust to their new surroundings, all of these icons made instant impacts something football clubs look desperate to search in their scouting missions.
Chelsea have started to revamp their midfield this January. The Jorginho-Kovacic-Kante UEFA Champions League & UEFA Europa League winning trio days of gracing the Bridge are over with Jorginho moving to Arsenal after talks with his club indicated that his services were no longer required.
Todd Boehly was probably the most active owner/sporting director in all across Europe and a lot of names were discussed and in the end, the club went on to sign Enzo Fernandez for a record fee of £106.8 m. Carney Chukwuemeka, Cesare Casadei & Andrey Santos all are now primed to forward the club in the Todd Boehly era.
What’s next for Andrey Santos?
Chelsea have been unable to obtain a work permit for their young star and therefore could not register him as a player for the club for the second half of this season. Various conflicting reports have emerged about Santos’ work permit as some have speculated that the wonderkid failed the application process by a single point and others that Chelsea are simply yet to apply for a visa.
After Brexit, players targeted by British clubs from foreign leagues must accrue 15 points under the FA’s post-Brexit system to qualify for a visa automatically, while any player with 10 or more points is eligible to go before an appeals panel. Points are issued based on the criteria of the number of international caps a player has or the number of appearances in elite domestic or continental championships.
So, Chelsea are now actively looking out to loan Santos for the rest of the campaign with talks on a deal with Brazilian giants Palmeiras ongoing. The two clubs have not been able to agree on the terms of the deal.
Final green light still needed for Andrey Santos to complete his loan transfer to Palmeiras despite verbal agreement with Chelsea. 🔵🇧🇷 #CFC
Chelsea want Andrey to join Brazil for U20 World Cup in May/June — this is key point to proceed to contract signing stage with Palmeiras. pic.twitter.com/3OZx8uFeGH
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 21, 2023