Andrey Santos vows to earn Chelsea work permit

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 26 Mar 2023 09:06 BST
  • 3 min read
Andrey Santos, Chelsea

Andrey Santos joined Chelsea from Vasco da Gama in January but was denied a UK work permit before returning to Brazil on loan.

Santos emerged as one of the most exciting young talents in world football last year, scoring eight goals from 33 games as Vasco were promoted to the Brazilian top-flight - despite being a defensive midfielder.

Chelsea secured his signing ahead of Barcelona and Newcastle, paying €12.5 million for his services, but with the player yet to represent his nation at full international level, he was denied a work permit.

READ: Why Andrey Santos’ Chelsea transfer could spark Premier League revolution

But the future is looking brighter for the 18-year-old, who made his debut for Brazil in Saturday's 2-1 friendly loss to Morocco in Tangier on Saturday.

"I knew I had some chances of not playing [for Chelsea]," he said ahead of the game. "I was confident, but unfortunately I didn't make it. Life goes on. To be honest, I didn't know [the requirements] I needed.

"As far as I know, I need to play in Serie A and I need to go to the Under-20s World Cup. I'm pretty calm. I'm doing my best at my club to achieve my goals."

READ: 'Already better than Casemiro' - Andrey Santos leaves Chelsea fans drooling with Brazil U20 display

Santos captained Brazil's under-20 team to the South American U-20 Championship in February, proving that last season's goal-haul wasn't statistical noise by matching Vitor Roque with a tournament-high six goals.

Casemiro 'an idol'

Now in the senior set-up, he is delighted to be learning from Manchester United midfielder Casemiro.

"I feel at home, they welcomed me very well," he said. "Being at Casemiro's side, at the side of an idol, is a dream for me. I'm living a dream, and it's helping me a lot."

"And I hope to be able to reciprocate his help on the field and the experience he gave me too."

With Jorginho gone and N'Golo Kante out of contract at Chelsea this summer, the Blues will be counting the days until they can reintegrate Santos into their squad.