At the start of 2010, Arsenal signed promising Brazilian teenager Wellington Silva from Fluminense for a fee reportedly in the region of £3.5million.
Now more than four years later, you would think he would be close to – if not already part of – the Gunners’ first-team.
And yet the now-21-year-old’s agent has confirmed that his client will go out on loan again next season, this time to Spanish club Almeria.
Up until now, Silva has played for Levante, Alcoyano, Ponferradina and Real Murcia, all while officially being an Arsenal player.
In that time, the forward has made 80 appearances, scoring 10 goals and setting up another five in that time. And while that is not exactly the scintillating form Arsenal fans may have hoped for, the fact that he is something of a journeyman at the age of 21 suggests why he may not have matched his early promise.
Silva, like any player, may well need to feature regularly in one place to ensure he plays to his best. And now his agent has confirmed that the youngster will spend all of next season at Almeria, in the hope that it is a prelude to a belated introduction to the Arsenal faithful.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the player’s agent Alex Soares said, “We are hopeful that, after this loan spell at Almeria, Silva will be able to return to play for Arsenal and they will monitor his progress in Spain next season.”
Given his age, he still has plenty of time to break into Arsene Wenger’s first-team squad. And as with another young forward – Joel Campbell – it could be a loan move that ultimately ensures the Frenchman has no choice but to bring him home.
The only question for Silva is: How many loan moves will it take?