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Chelsea: Graham Potter closing on starlet Andrey Santos

Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly is striving to put the onus on young, promising prospects at Stamford Bridge, targeting touted starlets with a high ceiling, capable of forging their path toward prominence in West London. 

What’s the word?

One player that appears to be edging toward a move to Chelsea is Andrey Santos, a teenage sensation playing for Vasco de Gama in the Brazilian second tier, with a €15m (£13m) move set to be secured in the coming months. 

This is according to French outlet Le10 Sport, who claim that the Blues have warded off interest from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United to lure the player into the fray. 

One pivotal factor behind this was the Blues project being ‘more consistent with the player’s expectations than that of other clubs, such as PSG’ – with Potter’s philosophy and emphasis on youth likely a definitive argument in the bid. 

The next Makelele

Santos has earned plaudits for his refined, ubiquitous presence on the pitch, and at just 18 years old, he evidently has all the ingredients to become a major player at the top of the game.

Earning the nickname “the Brazilian Busquets”, Santos possesses the whole gamut of ability required to serve as a successful pivot in European football, boasting defensive prowess and a desire to instigate forward transitions when appropriate. 

Despite semblance to FC Barcelona’s Busquets, Santos can absorb the style of Chelsea’s iconic former engine Claude Makelele, nurturing his own ability and looking to emulate the approach that served Chelsea’s No. 4 so well during his illustrious spell at the club.

In 2022, the £4.3m-rated starlet has featured in 36 matches for Vasco, scoring eight goals in the process. 

Occupying the box-to-box role for his team, Santos has excelled due to his dynamic, tenacious performances in South America, carrying the ball with aplomb and providing defensive support with resounding success.

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Cesc Fabregas in action for Chelsea

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As per Sofascore, the teenager has produced an average rating of 7.13 in his division, recording a passing accuracy of 78%, making 2.9 tackles per match and succeeding with 60% (8.4) of his total duels, rounding off with an average of 1.4 shots per fixture. 

These are traits that will serve him well in the modern European game, and open the door to a shining spell at Chelsea, who are in need of a midfielder with the whole host of skills necessary to cement their standing at the forefront of the domestic and continental game. 

At just 18 years old, he might not slot right into the starting XI, instead slowly integrating into the churning machine that Potter is tinkering away at, but should his development be handled with care and attention, Chelsea could soon have a brilliant, industrious player on their hands – and perhaps even their next Makelele.