Chelsea may be forced to loan January signing Andrey Santos out, according to reports, because the midfielder has yet to receive his work permit. The playmaker is highly regarded at Stamford Bridge and was expected to play in the second half of the season, but that may no longer be the case.
The Blues spent big money in January to give Graham Potter a squad capable of resurrecting their top-four hopes. Big money was spent to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez, but the signing of Santos went unnoticed.
The Brazilian was signed for £18 million from Vasco de Gama, which could prove to be a wise investment if the talented prospect lives up to his potential. The 18-year-old has been in excellent form at the South American U20 Championship, with dominant performances in the center of the park combined with a cutting edge giving Chelsea fans reason to be excited.
Santos’ Premier League participation this season may have to be halted, according to UOL, because the player has yet to be granted a work permit. Chelsea may be forced to loan out the 18-year-old again to Brazil in order for him to accumulate more points.
Santos currently lacks the necessary points for the permit, but the Blues are hoping that their application for an exceptional talent visa will allow him to play for the club this season. If not, he will be forced to return to his homeland, as the European transfer windows have closed.
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Santos will need to join a club competing in the Copa Libertadores in order to maximize his points total. Vasco de Gama is not in that competition, but they would welcome the talented teenager back.
The eight teams competing in the Copa Libertadores are Palmeiras, International, Fluminense, Corinthians, Flamengo, Athletico Paranaense, Fortaleza, and Atlético Mineiro, and acquiring Santos’ services until the end of the season could be an opportunity too good to pass up for several of those teams.
If his new signing is unable to play until the summer, Potter will have to rethink his plans for the second half of the season. N’Golo Kante is still out with a hamstring injury but is expected to return soon, while Mason Mount has struggled for form despite numerous chances from former Brighton manager Gary Rowett.