Chelsea wonderkid 'feeling isolated' amid loan struggles
The youngster was one of the myriad talented players Chelsea stockpiled over the summer, arriving from Santos for €15 million. There was also something historic about his signing: he was swiftly sent out on loan to RC Strasbourg, thus becoming the first player to move between the two clubs since the Ligue 1 side were acquired by BlueCo.
Chelsea, the crown jewel of Todd Boehly's budding footballing empire, certainly hope that the affiliation with Strasbourg will be a fruitful one. The Ligue 1 side not only boasts several talented players who will be of interest to the Blues, like Habib Diarra, but they are also the ideal destination for development loans for Chelsea's many youngsters.
Indeed, the hope was that Strasbourg would be the perfect landing spot for Angelo Gabriel to get acclimatised to European football, but things haven't quite panned out that way. Though there is an argument to be made that the 18-year-old is the club's most gifted player, the Brazilian has struggled to perform and adapt to life in France.
Angelo 'feeling isolated'
So far, the Chelsea loanee has mustered just two assists for the Ligue 1 side and he was dropped to the bench for Strasbourg's 2-1 loss to Stade Reims on Friday. It hasn't just been his lack of offensive production that has caused problems for the underperforming Alsatians, but also his defensive work, with head coach Patrick Vieira admitting after a recent game against Marseille that the opponents found joy down Angelo's side.
In light of his struggles, a Strasbourg club source spoke to L'Equipe to shed some light on what was going on behind the scenes. “It has been difficult these past weeks. He has mitigating circumstances. He is discovering European football, he didn’t do the preseason with us and he has felt a bit isolated because of the language barrier."
Angelo remains a highly talented player, but his downturn in form since making the switch to Strasbourg has already impacted his stock, with his Estimated Transfer Value (eTV) dropping from a peak of €25m to €15m in recent months.