As reported by Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (via Sport Witness), mid-table Primeira Liga contenders Belenenses want to extend Nathan’s loan beyond just the initial six months that was agree in January. While a permanent move is mostly ruled out (thanks to Nathan’s outsized wages at Chelsea that would not translate well to the Portuguese league), both club and player are keen on extending his stay through the end of the next campaign.
The 22-year-old is apparently enjoying his time in Lisbon, not least because he speaks the language and has Brazilian teammates, but also because he’s finding success and scoring important goals, like against then-league-leading FC Porto.
“I am happy to have scored, I work hard during the week, but the merit is all of the team, which has returned to be very united. We will continue to work to win even more victories.”
-Nathan; source: O Jogo
Nathan’s appeared in seven of the ten league matches Belenenses has played since he joined. He has two goals (one each against the two best teams in the league, Benfica and Porto), his minutes are climbing and it sounds like his confidence is high.
Chelsea signed attacking midfielder Nathan Allan de Souza from Brazilian club Atlético Paranaense in 2015, when he was already 20 years old. He was a promising, pacey player who could also play wide. He immediately went into the loan system, to Vitesse. He left after two seasons, having scored six Eredivisie goals and made three assists, but rarely playing the full ninety minutes.
From there it was on to half a season at SC Amiens in France, which might have been too big of a step-up in competition, as they used him just twice in half a season. And then, in January, he moved to Belenenses in Portugal’s Primeira Liga.
Nathan was at risk of becoming a loan nomad. Not any more, not if he has anything to say about it. At 22 years-old, Nathan has a great chance to establish himself in Portugal, from where he can follow countless others for greater success elsewhere on the continent (we only have to look to Nemanja Matic or David Luiz for two obvious examples at Chelsea).
As we’ve seen in many other loans, finding a good fit for a young player is never an exact science. Nathan seems to have a good thing going at Belenenses, so extending that loan deal would probably make sense for all involved.