Chelsea may be furious with Nottingham Forest after loanee Andrey Santos was left out of their team entirely for their clash with Manchester City. Forest fell to a 2-0 defeat against 10-man City at the Etihad Stadium, but there was no sign of Santos.
The midfielder was sent on loan to Forest to continue his development after a positive pre-season with Chelsea. But his arrival on a temporary deal was followed by Forest further strengthening their midfield in the final few days of the summer window.
Ibrahim Sangare and Nicolas Dominguez both arrived at the City Ground as Steve Cooper made sweeping changes to his midfield. But it has come at a cost to the 19-year-old Santos.
The Brazilian, who Chelsea snapped up from Vasco da Gama in January, made his debut for Forest in their Carabao Cup defeat against Burnley. That performance was clearly not enough to impress Cooper, though, with the teenager so far failing to make his Premier League debut.
Santos was an unused substitute in Forest’s 1-1 draw with Burnley last week. And Cooper went one further this weekend by leaving out the Chelsea ace entirely.
It is unclear if Santos was injured but it still seems unclear if he will earn the game time that Chelsea might have expected. A crowded squad is likely to leave the Brazil international fighting for his place.
Cooper was delighted to sign Santos and hoped that he would improve Forest’s team. Upon announcing the signing, the Forest boss said: “He’s a highly rated young player. That’s why Chelsea have got him.
“He’s talented, for sure. He’s a really pleasant lad. He’s a highly talented young player. Hopefully he can make a difference for us.”
However, Chelsea will surely be concerned about the start Santos has made to his loan spell. The Blues have high hopes for the player after spending an initial £13m in January before allowing him to spend the remainder of last season at Vasco da Gama.
He might even have had a better chance of first-team football had he stayed in West London for the campaign. Pochettino’s side have struggled for consistency in the middle of the pitch, with Moises Caicedo making a poor start following his £115m switch from Brighton.
Santos will certainly hope to play his way into Cooper’s plans at Forest. A wasted season would be a shame for a player with such huge potential.