CHELSEA NEWS

‘He’s a beast’ – Juninho praises new Chelsea signing as the Blues close in on the Brazilian wonderkid.

 

Chelsea could have the answer to their midfield issue coming from an unlikely source. It’s the centre of the pitch that has caused them most problems this season and has lead to the pursuit of Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez.

The Argentina star is seen as one part of the solution to a lack of mobility in midfield available to Graham Potter but could cost as much as £106million due to his release clause. Chelsea are also willing to potentially end up paying more than that depending on the payment structure. However there is a chance that Fernandez may already have a new midfield partner at Stamford Bridge.

Although big targets Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham are set to be on the move in the summer there is another player on their way in already. 18-year-old Andrey Santos has agreed a deal to move from Vasco da Gama in January for around £13million.

Unlike other Brazilian teenagers he will be able to join straight away due to his age and can therefore be used when deemed ready under Potter. There is still a chance that he may be loaned out for the rest of the season to aid his development with first team football, though. However, according to Brazil legend Juninho Pernambucano he is good enough now.

“I’ve never seen a player, at 18, as ready as he is,” he said in July to Fabrizio Romano. “Physically, he’s a beast, technically he’s on a high level. He’s not going to be better than me, he’s going to be much better than me.”

Juninho had a brilliant club career with 100 Ligue 1 goals and 75 assists, averaging around one contribution every other game. Known for his creativity and skill this is high praise for a player with only 37 senior appearances, albeit as a teenager.

Vasco da Gama finished fourth in Brazilian Serie B with Santos scoring eight times in 33 matches from midfield. He was wanted by a host of top clubs including Newcastle, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

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