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Where should Wallace end up?

Paul Gilham

Here's one question that's been on everyone's lips this summer: What will become of Wallace? Everyone's lips. Definitely. Anyway, the young right back, whom Chelsea bought and then immediately loaned back to Fluminense last winter, will be arriving from Brazil this summer, and that means Chelsea have to figure out what to do with him. It's not entirely out of the question that he sticks with the first team -- he's featured regularly with Fluminense since his debut at 17, but more likely is that he goes on loan.

Obviously, that will happen after he has a chat with Jose Mourinho. According to the Elastico, which is dedicated to covering football prospects, the latest hints are that he'll be going to the Eredivisie or the Primeira Liga. Earlier in the month, it was a different story, with teams in Germany and Italy supposedly interested. Considering that Wallace is coming out of the Brasileirao, whose quality directly comparable to the Dutch and Portuguese leagues, I think I'd much rather let him sink or swim with an aggressive loan.

But the level of competition is only one thing for Chelsea to bear in mind when making this decision. The real key here will be Wallace himself. At 19 and coming across the Atlantic from Brazil, it could be that a soft landing in Portugal makes more sense than dropping him in the Serie A, well away from his home side, and hoping for the best. I assume that that's what the conversation with Mourinho will mostly be about. If Wallace is uncomfortable playing without at least having the support structure of a shared language in place, it might be worth it to get him acclimitised to Europe in a friendly environment.

Wallace's destination this summer is probably more likely to depend on soft factors than pure footballing ones, and that's alright. Michael Emenalo's been absolutely brilliant with loans recently, and we're just going to have to trust Chelsea to make the right call here. We're not going to have all the information to really judge a Wallace loan until after the fact.

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