Forgotten Chelsea star, 20, ‘handed first team lifeline next season with Enzo Maresca regarding player as a great fit’

NOTTINGHAM FOREST flop Andrey Santos is allegedly set to be offered a lifeline at Chelsea.

The Brazilian midfielder, 20, cost the Blues £11million in January 2023 from Vasco Da Gama.

AFPBrazilian youngster Andrey Santos is set to be offered a huge chance by Chelsea[/caption]

GettyThe star is ‘being earmarked’ for a spot in Enzo Maresca’s squad[/caption]

He arrived at Chelsea with high hopes for his future but those suffered a blow last term.

Santos left to join Forest on a season-long loan 12 months ago but he only played twice for them.

That led to his deal being ripped up in January and instead he spent the rest of the campaign in France with RC Strasbourg.

However, he quickly showed his Samba skills in Ligue 1 and was named the top-flight’s player of the month for March.

He followed that up by winning the equivalent at his club the following month and now his career at Chelsea could be about to take off.

Enzo Maresca has arrived in the dug-out after leaving Leicester City to replace Mauricio Pochettino.

And The Athletic are claiming that Santos is “being earmarked” for a role in his Blues first-team next season.

It states that he “is regarded as a great fit for how Enzo Maresca wants the team to play”.

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And it also adds that “his ability to operate as a No.6 or No.8, combined with great ball retention, will be a major asset” for the West London side.

The Rio de Janeiro-born star was strongly linked with a move to Newcastle before he made the switch to Stamford Bridge in 2023.

The Magpies were linked again in January when his stay at Forest ended.

And Eddie Howe’s team were believed to still be keen if he was made available again this summer.

However, it now seems that he can look forward to getting an opportunity to shine under Maresca once he and his team-mates return for pre-season.

Meet Pep Guardiola disciple Enzo Maresca

ENZO MARESCA is considered among the most exciting young coaches on the planet.

Born in Italy in 1980, he managed to guide Leicester to the Championship title in his first season as Foxes boss.

His management career started at Italian minnows Ascoli before he was snapped up by Man City in 2020 to manage their Elite Development Squad.

He guided the youth team to the Premier League 2 title in his one season working for the Citizens – with Cole Palmer in the side.

His first senior job was with Parma but he was sacked after just a few months after failing to impress.

Despite the team playing in Serie B and Maresca having an impressive squad he was unable to get them on course for promotion.

He returned to Man City and worked as one of Pep Guardiola’s assistants for the 2022/23 season as they won the Treble.

He took over relegated Leicester last summer and made an immediate impact, with the Foxes winning the Championship title.

Maresca showed his dedication to the job by living at the training ground for the first two months after his appointment.

He’s considered something of a Pep disciple and has said: “For a coach, it’s important to have the mentality of a chess player.”

During his playing career he played under Carlo Ancelotti and Marcello Lippi – and alongside ex-Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi.

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