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When Can Andrey Santos Make Chelsea Debut? Work Permit Issues Explained

When Can Andrey Santos Make Chelsea Debut? Work Permit Issues Explained

Chelsea has been on an absolute spending spree in the January transfer window. They have spent over €200m in transfer fees in signing seven new players to improve Graham Potter’s squad.

Some have been roped in to improve the team immediately and others sought long-term success.

The only new arrival for the Blues who aren’t from a European side is Brazilian youngster Andrey Santos.

The 18-year-old midfielder earned his reputation with his heroics at the International youth level stage for the Selecao as well as his emergence for Vasco da Gama.

In 43 appearances for Vasco da Gama, Santos scored 11 goals last season. Right now, the teenager is playing for the Brazil U-20 team in the U-20 South American Championship.

He has been in superb form on the international stage, scoring three goals in four games for his side against the likes of Argentina and Colombia.

Santos is a highly talented midfielder who boasts a lot of technical ability as well as versatility. The 18-year-old plays mostly as a centre-midfielder, but also can operate in the defensive midfield role if needed.

That is why Chelsea pushed for his signing, eyeing him as a long-term successor to N’Golo Kante or Mateo Kovacic.

While he has been bought with the plan to help him adapt to his new environment smoothly, the Brazilian midfielder’s performances for his national team have some Chelsea fans desperate to see him in action for them. The thing is that, however, he can’t really do that anytime soon.

The reason for that is that Andrey Santos is yet to obtain the work permit for him to play in England. As because he hasn’t ever played in a European team in his career, doing so is turning out to be relatively complicated for him.

It was reported back in December that Santos had actually failed to qualify for his Visa in England. That is because he failed to match up to UK’s new points-based immigration system.

Normally, foreign players can automatically qualify for work permits as long as they have a sufficient number of international appearances.

Domestic and continental games are considered as well as a player’s appearances for his former and current clubs.

Considering that Santos only has six international appearances and plays for Vasco – which competes in the second division of Brazilian football – he’s failed to obtain his work permit.

Santos is having to wait for Chelsea and Vasco to settle some of the issues around his work permit situation before he can at any level for the Blues.

However, due to Brexit rules making it easier for English clubs to rope in South American talents, Chelsea should be confident of obtaining his work permit relatively soon.

For now, he is anyhow playing for the Brazilian U-20 side in South America and is unlikely to return before February anyhow. Chelsea has no plans on implementing him into their senior team this season, which is why taking it easy in helping him obtain his permits.

That means the Chelsea fans will probably have to wait slightly more before they are able to see the talented young Brazilian midfielder in action running games for them going forward.