Chelsea wonderkid Andrey Santos returns to Vasco da Gama on three-month loan deal

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WHAT HAPPENED? The 18-year-old midfielder joined the Blues in the January transfer window after they paid around £13 million ($16m) to Vasco da Gama for his services. However, the youngster was one point shy of meeting the Premier League requirements to get a work visa, which forced Chelsea to look for a short-term loan option. It was reported that Palmeiras and MLS outfit LA Galaxy were keen to get him on loan but neither club were able to finalise a deal. Santos' future has finally been resolved, with Chelsea announcing on Thursday that he will be rejoining his boyhood club to gain competitive minutes before returning to London in the summer.

WHAT THEY SAID: “Andrey Santos is moving back to Brazil, re-joining his previous club Vasco da Gama on loan,” an official club statement read. "The 18-year-old midfielder signed for Chelsea in January from his boyhood club, whom he helped to promotion to the top flight last year. He now has the opportunity to develop further at that level. We wish Andrey well playing in Brazil’s Serie A."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Santos stole the limelight in the Under-20 South American Championship with Brazil, where he ended up lifting the trophy and also emerged as the top scorer of the tournament with six goals to his name. He is set to lead Brazil again at the U20 World Cup in May, but Chelsea are expecting him to report for their pre-season tour of America later in the summer.


Andrey Santos Brazil U20Getty

WHAT NEXT FOR SANTOS & CHELSEA? The midfielder will likely be in action for Vasco against Flamengo in the Campeonato Carioca on Monday. Chelsea, meanwhile, will face Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday.


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