Chelsea recently added Fluminese's attacking right back Wallace Oliviera Dos Santos to their armoury.
The clubs had reached an agreement for the player back in last December, after Wallace helped Fluminese to Brazilian League championship win. But Chelsea allowed the Brazilian to remain at Rio De Janeiro to enhance his reputation and footballing growth at the Maracana Stadium.
The Brazilian youngster, who made his senior debut at the tender age of 17, is tipped for a bright future in Europe. His move to Premier League powerhouses Chelsea is seen as a launching platform back in his homeland. The former Brazil U17 and U20 World Cup player is seen as a long term solution as Chelsea's right-back. But where does he stands with his current level?
Wallace's link up play, crossing and clever deliveries into the box makes a threat on the other end of the pitch. Even though these attributes require some fine tuning to reach the summit, Wallace can be expected to reach higher levels with age and time on his side. His decision making in the final third is a true reflection of his creative vision. He might not be delivering inch perfect balls at this age, but those days aren't far away.
Now, at 19-years of age, Wallace is far from a finished product. He is still raw as a defender, with his penchant for joining the attacks at every given opportunity his biggest strength as well as the weak link. The youngster needs to be groomed properly, otherwise the gaps he leaves behind, will be exploited to the maximum by opposition teams.
Wallace's first touch and close control is susceptible for a Brazilian plair. But the samba flair and his driving runs helps him to get the better in precarious situations. In tightly contested spaces, the youngster might find his living harder and tougher.
Wallace's attacking instincts are highlighted by his ability to drift inwards as well as hugging the touchline while entering the opposition territory. He might have succeeded in Brazil by drifting inside at every given opportunity, but it can be a big trap for the youngster to fall into. He needs to cut short this instinct, and must unleash it sparely and timely to give knockout punches.
Another attribute which stands out in Wallace's armoury is his clever footwork and fearless dribbling anywhere on the pitch. When a defender opts to dribble in the middle of the park, he should be 100 per cent confident, with more decisiveness and clarity he can be ready for European adventures.
Wallace started his Chelsea life in a brilliant fashion, by impressing in the pre-season match. But one should not get bamboozled by those performances as he still needs a lot of fine tuning to play at the top level. Friendly and Premier League outings require completely different standards.
Wallace's work permit issue can prove out to be a blessing in disguise as it will help the youngster to adapt to European playing style without the weight of expectations. In the Premier League with Chelsea, the youngster cannot afford to make many mistakes. But outside Stamford Bridge, in a loan deal, he will get more freedom. If he is ready to learn from his mistakes, it will fast track his progress into a Premier League player.
Serie 'A' looks the most likely destination for the right back, with Roma and Inter Milan among the clubs preparing loan deals. Chelsea and Wallace need to be careful in choosing the next destination, as it will play a huge role in developing his career. Playing time and their style of play should be the most important aspects while choosing the club.
Youngsters usually thrive when they are confident, and confidence comes with success. Wallace needs to be careful while implementing those tricks on the pitch which has the potential to shatter his confidence. He still remains a work in progress, and Chelsea need to groom him properly to fulfill his potential. It's still some way off and a patient approach is required.
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