Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper says he has spoken to Chelsea about Andrey Santos’ lack of game time since joining the club on loan and insists he will get an opportunity to play.
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The Brazilian impressed during pre-season with the Blues and had his pick of clubs to join on loan from across Europe, ultimately deciding on Forest as his destination.
But he was quickly shunted down the pecking order when Forest brought in central midfielders Nicolas Dominguez and Ibrahim Sangare and he is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League.
His only outing so far has come in the Carabao Cup defeat to Burnley at the end of August and reports have surfaced recently suggesting Chelsea could recall the 19-year-old in January due to his lack of game time.
But Forest boss Cooper has played down those reports and says he is simply bedding the teenager in slowly and expects to call on him as the season progresses.
‘He’s been good. He’s obviously a really good young player,’ said Cooper on Thursday when asked about Santos’ lack of minutes.
‘I had a really good chat with Chelsea [about him] this week. I didn’t realise some stuff had been written about him.
‘There’s a lot of new players here and we’re really trying to get the balance right in integrating all the players at the right time, while trying to perform as best we can in every single game to get the results we want. That’s a real process.
‘With young players, sometimes it can take longer than others to settle in. I’m not saying he’s not, it’s just circumstantial at the moment in some of the games.’
Cooper also revealed that he had intended to sub Santos on against Brentford at the weekend but was forced to change his plans when Moussa Niakhate was sent off, while the youngster had also been struggling with a stomach bug.
He continued: ‘Brentford could have been a really good game for him to come off the bench but we went down to 10 men and he wasn’t feeling too well on the sidelines.
‘That went against him, because he was definitely in our thinking for a change. It didn’t work out that way, because of how he was feeling and the red card – so there’s been a little bit of bad luck as well.
‘But we’re really enjoying working with him and seeing him in training. We will continue with that process.’
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