Meet 18-year-old Andrey Santos: Chelsea’s New Brazilian Starlet

Chelsea recently completed the signing of teenage midfielder Andrey Santos from Brazilian side Vasco da Gama in a deal that will potentially rise to £18 million.

Santos is the Blues’ third signing in January 2023 after the arrival of Benoit Badiashile from Monaco and David Datro Fofana from Molde.

The likes of Manchester City, Barcelona, PSG and Newcastle United all chased the 18-year-old, but Chelsea eventually won the race.

In this article, FootballOrbit brings you what you need to know about the Brazilian starlet.

Andrey Nascimento dos Santos was born on the 3rd of May 2004 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He initially started playing futsal at the age of 4, but later fell in love with soccer and joined Vasco da Gama’s youth academy.

Andrey initially started playing as a defender, before being moved up to midfield.

Having progressed rapidly through Vasco da Gama’s academy, he made his senior team debut in March 2021 — aged just 16.

In the 2022 season, Santos established himself as an integral member of the team.

Andrey Santos playing for Vasco da Gama

He made 38 appearances and scored 8 goals as Vasco finished 3rd in the Serie B, and subsequently gained promotion to the Brazilian top flight after a 2-year absence.

Furthermore, he became the youngest goalscorer in the club’s history when he scored in a 3-2 Serie B victory over Náutico in June 2022.

His dazzling performances at the end of his first full season in senior football caused a string of top European clubs to clamour for his signature.

On the 6th of January 2022, Andrey Santos joined Chelsea in a deal worth an initial £13 million — but will eventually rise to £18 million.

He reportedly signed a 5-year contract as the latest recruit in Todd Boehly’s policy of signing up the best youngsters in world football.

Chelsea won the battle to sign Santos ahead of other interested clubs like Newcastle, PSG, Manchester City and Barcelona — who want him as a replacement for Sergio Busquets, but their financial issues prevented a move.

“It’s a very big opportunity for me. 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.”

Andrey Santos upon signing for Chelsea.

Furthermore, Andrey Santos became Vasco da Gama’s latest youngester to secure an high-profile move to Europe — following in the footsteps of players such as Romario, Juninho, Philippe Coutinho, Alex Teixeira and Douglas Luiz.

International career

Andrey Santos playing for Brazil

Andrey Santos represented Brazil’s U-15s at the 2019 South American U-15 Championship. He has also represented his nation at U-20 level.

Andrey Santos’ playing style

Primarily a defensive midfielder, Santos loves advancing into the No.8 role to support the attack.

He plays like former Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure.

Standing at 5 feet, 10 inches tall; he is right-footed and a box-to-box specialist who has a knack for scoring goals.

“Physically, he’s a monster,” “Without the ball, his participation in the game is total. I wanted to see his GPS, because he doesn’t stop! And technically, he’s way above the others.

“He’s not going to be better than me, he’s going to be much better than me! He’s a much more complete player. At 18, I didn’t play half as much as he does, I’m not ashamed to say that.”

Vasco da Gama and Olympique Lyon legend, Juninho, on Santos’ attributes.

Andrey Santos is an extremely talented player and Chelsea value him immensely for the future. He is expected to be a massive part of the Blues’ midfield for years to come.

The youngster is being managed by Bertolucci Sports — the agency representing top Brazilian players like David Luiz, Marquinhos, Oscar, Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Magalhaes, Matheus Cunha and David Neres.

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