Brazilian wonderkid is “first team signing” and will play next season with work permit close

Nizaar Kinsella’s piece in the Evening Standard this afternoon confirms what we suspected. Andrey Santos was brought to the club as a “first team signing” and will play an important role this season once his work permit is accepted.

That frustrating admin nightmare is almost at an end, with Kinsella saying Santos is “expected to get clearance” this summer, 6 months after missing out by a single point under the FA’s work permit application system. His recent senior appearances for Brazil won’t just convince the panel that he’s an exceptional talent worthy of having the rule bent for – it will likely give him the points he needs in itself.

In fact Santos – who has been back in Brazil playing with Vasco de Gama on loan since his move from there to Chelsea in January – was yesterday at the British consulate finishing the relevant paperwork for his latest application.

All being well he will be able to join with the Blues’ preseason squad (assuming there are no problems getting him a US visa for our games there) and will be ready to go for Mauricio Pochettino’s new look midfield come August.

The likely departure of Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante this summer mean that Santos is in line for a lot of playing time if he looks even half as good as he has playing in Brazil and for his national youth teams. It will have been a tedious 8 month wait to see him in action – but we’re convinced it will be worth it in the end.

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