Chelsea midfielder Andrey Santos has completed a short-term loan to sister club Strasbourg in France, hoping to reignite his career.
The 19-year-old will spend the rest of the season with the French Ligue 1 outfit after the Blues cut short his loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
The Brazilian box-to-box dynamo only played 12 minutes of Premier League football during his time with the Tricky Trees.
Chelsea decided to recall Santos from his loan and send him elsewhere to restart his stalled development.
Santos is one of Chelsea’s numerous signings since the arrival of the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Consortium as owners in May 2022.
They shelled out £18 million to sign the teenage midfield star from Vasco da Gama the following January.
Santos had been highly touted in his native Brazil after notching eight goals and four assists in his final season with Vasco.
However, it was clear it would take at least a year or two of development before he’d be ready to contribute to Chelsea’s first team.
Even when he impressed in pre-season, there was the feeling that he was still too raw, hence the need for the Forest loan.
The Rio de Janeiro-born star will now take his talents to France under the tutelage of Patrick Vieira, one of the best box-to-box midfielders of all time. Chelsea will hope the Frenchman can catalyse his development.
Santos has a terrific engine and would slot into Stasbourg’s midfield that lacks a lynchpin to break up opposition attacks and punch passes through the lines.
Of Chelsea’s many ponderous signings since the 2022 summer transfer window, Santos is one of the few who can make the grade at the club.
He has impressed at the South American Youth Football Championship and the Under-20 World Cup. He has captained his team at both tournaments, showing his leadership ability.
If Santos can get enough game time in France this campaign and get another season of European football under his belt, he can become the player Chelsea want him to be.
He has shown he has the attitude and drive to prove his mettle in Europe. He only needs a stable environment to develop, away from the chaos in London.
Santos could benefit from the Ligue 1 move, where he will join fellow Brazilian Angelo Gabriel. They can both use another loan back to the French club to develop.
Young players need consistency, patience and game time to develop. If he thrives, he could return to Stamford Bridge as a solution to their many problems.
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