Brazilian midfielder proved he can play as a passer – but new manager will have to give green light

Andrey Santos’ future at Chelsea is going to be decided in the next few weeks, but he may only have limited influence over it.

He will have preseason with new manager Enzo Maresca watching on, but the sporting directors will have a major say in the decision about what to do with him too. The new coach will want to play a possession style, and Santos has to show he can do that.

There is a sense with some pundits that Santos is a little clunky on the ball, and that Romeo Lavia, if fit, has more smoothness in terms of moving it around and reading the game. That probably gives him the edge when the club are deciding what to do with Santos next season.

Although it should be noted that his spell in Ligue 1 this season showed he’s much more than a destroyer with an eye for goal – his passing numbers were much better than most expected, operating from the base of midfield.

Andrey Santos celebrates scoring for Strasbourg.

Santos future depends as much on others as himself

Despite that, we don’t have the idea of the Brazilian remaining at Strasbourg on loan next and continue his really impressive development anyway. We will see what Maresca thinks in preseason anyway. It may be thought that if Conor Gallagher is sold, Santos is already in a position to step up and replace him.

Lesley Ugochukwu looks ready for another season as a rotation option, or will Santos go on loan and an experience player with a proven record in a possession team’s midfield be brought in as part of a low-cost revamp? It’s going to be an interesting few weeks, with a lot of midfield questions hinging on Gallagher’s future.

Santos may find himself training under Maresca, sensing that his teammate’s transfer status the is most important factor affecting his future at that moment. It’s a funny spot to be in.

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