Why Wenger shouldn’t be concerned by Wellington Silva

Arsenal winger Wellington Silva

His time at Fluminese told Arsene Wenger he was going to be a star, his time with Levante says otherwise. Wellington Silva’s off field antics have overshadowed the Brazilian’s time in Spain, but then again he’s only made a handful of substitute appearances in his time at Levante. When he left Fluminese his Brazilian manager Muricy Ramalho said of him:

“I am very unsatisfied with him. He misses training, arrives late, argues with his father, this has nothing to do with Fluminese. He needs to become a player because right now he still isn’t one.”

At the time Arsenal presumed that the young strikers problems stemmed out of his poor relationship with his manager, just as van Persie’s problems did when he was at Feyenoord. However now it appears that there is a deeper problem that needs to be addressed. Last season reports of an unhealthy penchant for the local pizzeria and an obsession with Twitter were cited as the reason for Wellington’s lack of playing time and little seems to have changed. At first it was put down to problems for the Brazilian in settling in to life on a new continent but Levante manager Luis Garcia insisted that everything has been done to help the Brazilian feel at home. Garcia said:

“I want him to be more professional in his behaviour. Arsenal want us to work and help him and not only in terms of football. We’ve drawn up a programme for him and I want more time spent with his team-mates to help him settle and with the different language. He does have a problem settling in, being lonely. It’s important that he has someone to help and guide him.”

That was last year and despite Levante having a new manager the situation hasn’t improved. One difference this year is the improved form of Levante and it is understandable that because Wellington hasn’t been part of that team that has done so well it would be hard for Juan Ignacio Martinez to pick him. However reports suggest that even if the team wasn’t doing so well there still wouldn’t be a place for the starlet in the team. Wellington compounded the situation recently with an outburst on Twitter claiming he was ‘fed up’ of having to wait for his chance in the first team. His unquestionable talent gives the troubled youngster cause to believe that he should warrant a place in the starting eleven but he is yet to learn how to conduct himself in his private life.

Work permit issues mean it is unlikely that Wellington will return to Arsenal in January with the FA having reneged on their initial promise to allow a ‘special talent’ work permit for the Brazilian. However there is supposed to be interest from clubs in Greece, France and Brazil. Wenger however will have to look hard for the right solution to the youngsters problems as if they are not solved soon Wenger may begin to regret the £3.5m he spent on the player.

It is by no means the end of the road for the eighteen year old, he has a long way to go before he is a Jermain Pennant type figure in north London but Wenger will be worried nonetheless. It would be easy to blame his problems on adaptation to life in a new country but Wellington has been out of Brazil for almost two years now and shows no sign of progression. If you take another example, someone like Joel Campbell then you can see the difference. Joel came straight from Costa Rica to France were he is on loan at Lorient. Campbell settled in almost immediately and become an important part of the Ligue 1 outfit. He’s even picked up his already scintillating form for his country scoring a brilliant goal against the world champions Spain in Costa Rica’s recent friendly.

So is it time for the Arsenal manager to start getting worried about Wellington? Not yet. Problems will arise if Wellington goes out on loan somewhere else and still can’t get in the team. Ultimately all that needs to happen is for the Brazilian to play enough games somewhere for his British work permit to be granted then under the stewardship of Wenger himself the Brazilian will surely be on the path to progression. This is no definitive method for nurturing young talent; all youngsters have different mental and technical requirements. However if anyone can get the best out of Wellington Silva then surely it is Wenger.

For more Arsenal news follow me on Twitter @H_Mackay

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