Chelsea Takes Initial January Transfer Step as Mauricio Pochettino Gears Up for Midfield Acquisition

Ez Abde

As the January transfer window approaches, Chelsea prepares for a bustling period. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is making a last-ditch effort to secure a top-four position. The Blues seem to have made their first move, particularly in bolstering their midfield options. Chelsea aims to retain players but may loan out one or two youngsters during the upcoming transfer window.

Having offloaded 23 players in the summer, both permanently and temporarily, Pochettino appears content with the current first-team squad. The need for more midfield depth is evident, with Romeo Lavia recovering and Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo requiring rest.

Reports from the Evening Standard suggest that 19-year-old Andrey Santo is poised for a January recall. He is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest. Despite impressing during the pre-season, Santo was loaned out following the acquisition of Lesley Ugochukwu from Stade Rennais. The recall option arises due to the Brazilian’s limited playing time at Forest. Chelsea can cancel the loan based on appearances by January.

Chelsea’s Midfield Makeover: A Landscape of Challenges and Opportunities

Andrey Santo’s potential return to Stamford Bridge presents both challenges and opportunities for Chelsea’s midfield dynamics. Santo faces stiff competition from Conor Gallagher, Moises Caicedo, Enzo Fernandez, Romeo Lavia, and Lesley Ugochukwu. Securing a starting spot poses a challenge for him.

However, the timing of international duties for key midfielders has highlighted the need for depth. Both Caicedo and Fernandez, South American talents, have returned late and fatigued from international duty, emphasizing the importance of a reliable midfield rotation.

While the prospect of loaning Santo until the end of the season is on the table, FIFA regulations present a hurdle. Chelsea has already reached the limit of seven players out on overseas loans, meaning Santo can only join an English team on loan unless one of the existing overseas loans is canceled—a move that may come with financial penalties. Pochettino may rue the decision not to permanently offload certain players in the summer, which could have eased the current loan constraints and provided more flexibility in shaping the squad for the crucial months ahead.

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