Chelsea may have pulled off masterstroke as Santos scores again

Graham Potter welcomes Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea

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Chelsea appear to have pulled off a transfer masterstroke after teenage midfielder Andrey Santos scored his fifth goal of the South American Under-20 Championship on Friday. The 18-year-old, who joined the Blues last month, scored Brazil’s final goal of the night as his country defeated Venezuela 3-0.

Chelsea have splashed the cash to bring in a whole host of players since Todd Boehly bought the club from Roman Abramovich at the end of last May. And they completed the signing of Santos just one week into the January transfer window.

The youngster is currently captaining the Brazil under-20s side at the tournament in Colombia and has featured in five of their six matches. He notched his first goal in Brazil’s opening clash with Peru last month as his team won 3-0, before backing that up with another strike in their 3-1 victory over Argentina and a goal against the host country in a 1-1 draw.

Santos was then rested for Brazil’s final group game against Paraguay as his country cemented top spot in Group A courtesy of a 2-1 triumph.

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Brazil have carried their fine form into the final stage of the competition, where they have overcome Ecuador 3-1 and Venezuela 3-0. And Santos got his name on the scoresheet in both of those encounters, meaning he is now the second top scorer of the competition after his team-mate Vitor Roque.

Santos, who helped Vasco da Gama win promotion from the Brasileiro Serie B last season before moving to Stamford Bridge, is a box-to-box midfielder who has been tipped to have a big future at club and international level. And while Chelsea didn’t sign him for his goalscoring abilities, club chiefs will no doubt be delighted to see him finding the back of the net with such consistency.

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“It’s a very big opportunity for me,” Santos admitted after putting pen-to-paper on a deal in west London. “This is a big club playing in big competitions like the Premier League, so I am very excited. The players here are so good and I am very happy to be here.”

Chelsea have now signed 16 players since Boehly took over. And after the January transfer window had closed, manager Graham Potter said: “You look at the age of the players, where they are in their careers – a combination of the investment in the transfer fee and salary has made good sense for us and where we’re at.

“We’ve got a hungry group of players who are ready to help the team now and also grow and grow as the club develops. The players that we have signed, the age of them, we have changed the direction of the team to where they needed to go, it is now about making it function.”

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