Who is Andrey Santos? Future Chelsea star has been compared to Bellingham & Casemiro

FPL360
By FPL360
Who is Andrey Santos? Future Chelsea star has been compared to Bellingham & Casemiro

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Vasco da Gama talent 

Despite Brazil’s early exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there is once again a remarkable run on young Brazilian talent. The most prominent example is Endrick, who has recently been signed by Real Madrid in a deal that can grow to €72m. But Endrick will not be in Europe until 2024 when he turns 18. The same cannot be said about Andrey Santos, as Vasco da Gama are set to sell the midfielder to Premier League club Chelsea this winter. 

Fabrizio Romano reported that Chelsea will pay around €20 million for the 18-year-old, and according to Brazilian journalist Lucas Pedrosa Vasco Da Gama will receive 70% of the overall fee—the remaining 30% will go to the player’s camp. Andrey Santos recently posted a picture on social media celebrating his transfer to Chelsea. The overall package will make Andrey Santos the most expensive outgoing transfer in Vasco Da Gama’s history, breaking a record set by Paulinho when he joined Bayer Leverkusen for €18.5m in the 2018/19 season (overview).

In Andrey Santos, Chelsea have presumably secured one of the brightest talents in Brazilian football. The 18-year-old central midfielder was a cornerstone for Vasco Da Gama in Série B last season, scoring eight goals in 33 games, helping his club secure promotion to the first division for the first time in two seasons. Not surprisingly, Andrey Santos’ market value doubled in the recent Brazil Série B market value update from €5m to €10m (overview). 

Soon with Andrey Silva: Vasco da Gama’s record departures

Alex Teixeira | For €6m to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2009/10

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Talles Magno | For €7.3m to NYCFC in 2021

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Rômulo | For €8m to Spartak Moscow in 2012/13

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Diego Souza | For €8.2m to Al-Ittihad Club (Jeddah) in 2012/13

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Douglas Luiz | For €12m to Man City in 2017/18

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Paulinho | For €18.5m to Bayer Leverkusen in 2018/19

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Andrey Santos: Chelsea secure well-rounded Copinha star

The central midfielder also stood out at the prestigious Copinha youth tournament, where he scored three goals in six games for Vasco da Gama’s U20. The goalscoring ability at the youth level definitely stands out when it comes to Andrey Santos. 

“He is just a very well-rounded central midfielder,” Brazilian football expert and owner of the popular YouTube account Tactical Manager Filippo Silva said to Transfermarkt. “By well-rounded, I mean great going forward, offers you goals, progresses the ball forward, and very good with his tackles and interceptions. He is very technical and has a ton of athleticism. More than your average players at both categories despite the young age.”

Even though Vasco da Gama played in the second division the last two seasons, they are considered a massive club in Brazil. That, in turn, means that young players are under pressure to perform right away. And Andrey Santos not only performed but also played a key role for the club, often manning the central midfield role, acting almost like a deep-lying-playmaker. 

Chelsea a big step for Andrey Santos – Need to show patience

“The league itself isn’t great, but it’s a tough league to perform,” Silva said. “Not the greatest field conditions, weather, hostile environments. “So, to do it at age 18 is quite impressive.” Nonetheless, Silva admits that the jump from Brazil’s second division to the Premier League will be a gigantic step for Andrey Santos. 

Gakpo to Mihailovic: The most expensive transfers of the 22/23 January transfer window so far

11 Djordje Mihailovic | Montréal Impact to AZ Alkmaar | Fee: €6m

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10 Matheus Martins | Fluminense to Udinese | Fee: €6m

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Loaned directly to sister club FC Watford until end of season

9 Facundo Buonanotte | Rosario Central to Brighton | Fee: €6m

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8 Yira Sor | Slavia to Genk | Fee: €6.5m

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7 Ayrton Lucas | Spartak Moscow to Flamengo | Fee: €7m

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6 César Montes | Monterrey to Espanyol | Fee: €8m

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5 Ismaël Koné | Montreal Impact to Watford | Fee: €8m

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4 Evander | Midtjylland to Portland Timbers | Fee: €9.5m

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3 David Datro Fofana | Molde to Chelsea | Fee: 12m

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2 Fernando Gorriarán | Santos Laguna to Tigres | Fee: €12m

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1 Cody Gakpo | PSV to Liverpool | Fee: €42m

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With that in mind, Silva stresses that Chelsea will have to be patient when it comes to integrating Andrey Santos. “Most Brazilians take a while to adjust; even big names like Casemiro, and Vinicius took a couple of seasons,” Silva said. The best course might be to send the 18-year-old out on loan or give him another season in Brazil. 

“I know they are different players, but Vinicius took three seasons to impress at Real Madrid,” Silva said. “I would be surprised if he manages to have a big impact before he turns 20. Not impossible, but patience will be key.” 

Andrey Santos: A bit of Bellingham and Casemiro 

In terms of comparable players, Silva highlights Jude Bellingham, Bruno Guimarães, and Casemiro. “I would not say the same level, but maybe a bit of a mix between Bruno Guimarães and Casemiro,” Silva said. “In terms of style of play, some said Bellingham, but I don’t think he is as dynamic or even has the same ceiling.”

Casemiro: Goalimpact graphic highlights a big jump when he was around 22/23

Casemiro is certainly an interesting comparison. The 30-year-old Man United star is considered one of the best defensive midfielders in the World. In terms of development, Casemiro’s Goalimpact, which measures the extent that a player contributes to the goal difference per minute of a team and is a good measurement for talent development overall, was relatively low at a comparable age but made a big jump around 22/23 to 164, which is considered World-class. 

Andrey Santos’ current peak Goalimpact is projected to be 134, which would be considered average for a player playing in a top four league. But the 18-year-old still has a relatively small sample size, and players playing in his position have the potential to make a big jump later in their careers than prospects playing other positions. 

Andrey Santos is projected as an average Bundesliga player but Goalimpact at the moment. But players often make a jump at around 22/23.

Silva has no doubt that if Chelsea shows patience, they will have signed a top midfielder. “The ceiling is World-class, but that doesn’t mean he will achieve it,” Silva said. “But he is one of the most highly rated U20 players in Brazil, and the expectations are that he will eventually become an important national team player.”


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