There is a lot of excitement brewing amongst Arsenal fans over the news that Brazil Under-17 striker Wellington Silva has signed for the club and will move to the Emirates stadium when he turns 18 in January 2011. Wellington has been linked to the club since late 2008 when he had a trial with the Gunners but a deal has not been finalised until now. He has also been linked with a host of big clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Wellington is certainly one to look out for – he scored four goals in one game during his trial spell at Arsenal in December 2008, destroying Norwich’s Under 16’s in the process. This was just a few months after Wellington proved the star of the tournament during the Manchester United Premier Cup where he led Fluminense to the trophy at Old Trafford having destroyed opponent after opponent (including United) en route to the final.
As a player Wellington is still quite small – which isn’t too surprising given his young age – but he is physically strong in a way similar to current Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin. The boy is technically fantastic, brilliant on the ball with great footballing intelligence – he cuts inside opponents and curls well-placed strikes into the bottom corner of the net with ease. Wellington has even already played for Fluminense’s first team as they looked to ward off interest in him but financial problems have led to them having to agree a deal with Arsenal with the Gunners offering to pay part of his £3.5 million transfer fee now instead of when he arrives in London. Wellington’s agent revealed recently that
“He is already an Arsenal player and Fluminense has already received some money.”
Not only is Wellington a deadly striker but he can also operate on the wing as he can deliver a good cross and also force his way into the box himself. He has been described as one of the biggest talents outside Europe and given the past history of highly rated Brazilian strikers that could prove an excellent thing for Arsenal. Fears of him becoming another South American flop in the Premiership are unlikely due to the long adaptation period he will have in the country following his move due to his young age and Arsenal have already been assured that there will be no work permit problems when it comes to his eventual arrival at the Emirates.
Given Arsene Wenger’s eye for spotting top young talent from around the world the belief that the youngster will go on to become a great player is high and it will be very interesting to see if Wellington can keep up his dazzling performances at a higher level.