Mauricio Pochettino on Andrey Santos future in Chelsea

Official Chelsea announce signing of Andrey Santos

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino is currently deciding whether to retain the services of Andrey Santos in his Chelsea squad for 2023-24.

When the Blues signed the prospect as an 18-year-old at the turn of the year, the expectation was that he would spent at least one season on loan elsewhere.

Work permit issues prevented the teenager from remaining in Graham Potter’s squad in January, and he ultimately rejoined former club Vasco Da Gama who he had previously helped earn promotion to Brazil’s top flight.

However, that agreement was reached on the understanding that Santos would return to Chelsea for pre-season training where he would hope to impress whoever would be occupying the head-coach position.

Mauricio Pochettino was appointed to that role, and the Argentine has used pre-season to assess the capabilities of Santos and many other of Chelsea’s homegrown talent and prospects.

Chelsea midfielder Santos ‘waiting on Pochettino decision’
In four games in the United States, Santos has appeared in every fixture, playing for over an hour in wins over Wrexham and Brighton & Hove Albion before featuring during the first half of Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Fulham on Sunday night as the club won the Premier League Summer Series.

Having accumulated a total of 215 minutes, with a further 26-minute outing coming against Newcastle United, Santos has been given every chance to make an impact by Pochettino.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano on Twitter, the Brazil international has impressed his boss in both training and the aforementioned matches, leaving Pochettino to reach a decision on the next phase of his career.

Romano says that at least six clubs have made enquiries for Santos in recent weeks, including one unnamed Premier League team and others from Italy and Portugal.

Chelsea midfielder Santos ‘waiting on Pochettino decision’
Over the weekend, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claimed that Salernitana were interested in handing Santos an opportunity to play regular football in Serie A.

As it stands, Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher are the only senior central midfielders at Chelsea, with Carney Chukwuemeka also expected to remain in the squad and the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Ian Maatsen offering alternatives in the ‘number 10 role’.

At a time when Chelsea have been attempting to sign Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, it may be a straight race between Santos and Cesare Casadei for a place in Pochettino’s 2023-24 crop.

While Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital have agreed a deal for Rennes midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu, Pochettino indicated on Sunday night that the young Frenchman will likely go out on loan.

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