A young starlet will arrive at Arsenal in January, his name is Wellington Silva. Arsenal already own 65% of the 17 year-old Brazilian who is currently playing for Fluminense, but FIFA rules dictate that a player in Brazil must be 18 years of age before he leaves the country. Wellington conveniently becomes 18 in January, when Arsenal will pay the remaining 35% of fee which has so far reached £3.5 million. Wellington is a highly rated young player, for Fluminense under 16’s he scored 51 goals in just 19 games, and Arsenal fans will be excited at the prospect of him turning out in an Arsenal shirt. Unless Wellington is an incredible talent though, it is unlikely that he will get many first team opportunities after he joins in January. Arsene Wenger will want to teach the player the ‘Arsenal way’ before another manager gets his hands on him, but once this has been embedded it could be well worth sending Wellington out on loan for a period of time.
The benefits of going out on loan can be great, Jack Wilshere for instance got a really good taste of Premier League football at Bolton last season, which would have given the player a lot of confidence particularly as he managed to score his first Premiership goal whilst he was there. Carlos Vela meanwhile, gained first team experience with Spanish side Salamanca and in the following season played for La Liga side Osasuna, playing 32 games and gaining invaluable experience at the top level.
When Wenger looks back, he might wonder whether this would have been worthwhile with Theo Walcott. Walcott was signed by Arsenal in January 2006, when he was in scintillating form for Southampton. Walcott did not make an appearance that season for Arsenal and it may have been worth Wenger’s while to send him back on loan to Southampton for the remainder of the season. During his time at Arsenal Walcott has struggled for consistency, and as a result has never nailed down a first team place. Perhaps had he gone on loan for a season to another club Premier League club, and there would have been no shortage of takers, Walcott may have played a full season and gained that little bit of consistency. When Wellington Silva arrives at Arsenal, this may be something Wenger should do with the player.
Wellington Silva is an exciting prospect, Young Guns, a blog on Arsenal’s youth system says that
“Silva is a small yet agile forward with awesome technical skills and blistering pace.”
Wellington Silva is also Brazilian, and if any nationality will add to the excitement surrounding a footballer, it is that one. At the age of just 17 Wellington has already made 17 first team appearances for Fluminense, who are one of Brazil’s top sides. Hopefully for Wellington, he will have a lot more first team appearances to come in the next few years.