Andrey Santos was once again missing in action this weekend, as Nottingham Forest took on and lost to Everton, 1-0. For the third straight game, Santos wasn’t even in the matchday squad.
None of that should be a surprise at this point, with Chelsea expected to recall the 19-year-old in January. Santos has played just nine minutes in the Premier League so far.
But what is a bit surprising is Forest manager Steve Cooper essentially admitting that they were never going to play Santos, like, at all, and certainly not in any meaningful situation. Cooper had his mind made up from the start.
“Of course everyone would have liked Andrey to play more. He is a really good young player, but there isn’t a load of players his age who are playing regularly in the Premier League.
“It is the sort of situation where if he was our player, he would be in the perfect situation of being in and around the first-team, looking to involve him and giving him some exposure when you can, but knowing you are developing him and getting him ready.
“The context to it is he isn’t our player, he is Chelsea’s, and that probably just adds a few question marks to the situation, which I understand.”
So what was the point of this loan in the first place? If Forest communicated this stance to us and then we still did the deal, that’s on us. And if they didn’t communicate, then it’s on them and hopefully we remember this for next time.
“Game time has been very minimal. But I think the question has come up because we’re not his parent club. [We] are certainly committing to our every day work with him, as we do with every player and particularly the young ones because of the stage of the journey they are on.
“I repeat, not many players his age are playing loads of minutes in the Premier League. When they’re not quite getting that, you have to make sure the development programme is right, which is what we are committing to even though he is owned by Chelsea.”
-Steve Cooper; source: Metro
Santos certainly could’ve done all that at Chelsea, too, and then some!
Hopefully the next choice we make for him, in January, is a better one! Loans certainly have their potential pitfalls — and this is hardly the first case we’ve seen this happen over the years (though perhaps never so blatantly) — but Santos cannot be wasting more time rotting on any team’s bench.