Wellington Silva's latest loan spell is not proving to be as fruitful as many would have hoped.
Arsenal, like most of the Premier League’s top teams, have plenty of young talent out on loan. Sometimes this is purely to give them first team experience; other times it is in order to score a move for a player they might not consider up to the grade necessary at the club.
In other cases, in particular in recent years with The Gunners, it is simply down to the rules.
In recent years a few players have been asked to ply their trade in a country with less stringent rules on foreign players; places like Spain. Carlos Vela springs to mind as an immediate example of such a player. The Mexican spent time with Salamanca and Osasuna while The Gunners waited for a work permit for the highly rated teenager. Costa Rican Joel Campbell is currently with Real Betis for similar reasons.
Another such teen who has been asked to live a rather nomadic lifestyle in his early Arsenal career so far has been Wellington Silva.
When Arsenal snapped up the Brazilian talent he had just starred at the 2009 FIFA u-17 World Cup with the likes of Neymar and Philippe Coutinho. However he did not yet qualify for a Work Permit despite attempts to earn a ‘Special Talent Visa’.
Therefore loan spells out in Spain have been the story if his Arsenal career so far. The 20-year-old may be highly rated by everyone who has ever seen a YouTube clip of him in action the reality is he has struggled to make an impact in Spain; not least because of his attitude.
Unhappy with his outlook Levante sent the attacker home during a loan-spell with the club in 2011.
Now he finds himself with Ponferradina; an ambitious side pushing for a place in the play-off spots in the Spanish Segunda Liga.
However Silva has been a bit-part player in that campaign failing to play a single full match and making no starts in his 16 league appearances. One goal came in a 5-3 defeat to Cordoba back in November.
Meanwhile he has been outshone by a journeyman compatriot ten years his senior. Yuri de Souza turns 31 in August but has been banging in the goals this season that have led the unfashionable Castillaleonean side to a potential promotion campaign.
While Silva has spent the majority of the season sitting on his backside Yuri has been leading the line of attack for the unlikely promotion pushers and even if the side do not manage to break into the top flight of Spanish football there is likely to be a queue of La Liga clubs looking to bring in such a natural goalscorer.
Last season saw him bag 27 goals in 42 appearances and he is on course for a similar return this year; with 16 from 31 so far approaching the season end and a possibility of back-to-back promotion campaigns. His goal tally makes him the leagues fourth top-scorer; only behind the likes of Manchester City target Gerard Deulofeu and reported Arsenal target Jese Rodriguez with Almeria goal machine Charles topping the standings.
For Wellington Silva it must be hard coming off the bench for the occasional minute or so of football whilst watching a player from his own nation who never got the similar hype or expectancy laid at his door doing so well ahead of him.
Here is a video that sums it up. Silva coming on for a late cameo while Yuri scores an almost impossibly acute header...
Do you think Wellington Silva will make it at Arsenal?
image: © jonnyr1
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