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Steve Cooper explains Chelsea loanee Andrey Santos snub Specific Occasions

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Chelsea are set to terminate Andrey Santos’s mortgage spell at Nottingham Forest (Image: Getty)

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper claims a lack of experience is counting against Andrey Santos whose loan spell from Chelsea is likely to be terminated in January.

The Blues beat competition from several major European clubs to sign the highly rated midfielder from Vasco da Gama last January in a £17.5million deal.

Santos is yet to make his competitive debut for the Blues but it had been hoped that a temporary spell at the City Ground would ready him for the challenge of competing for a first team place at Stamford Bridge.

The 19-year-old has hardly featured at all this season, however, despite Forest’s struggles and he is likely to be recalled by his parent club when the transfer window reopens.

Cooper, whose own position as Forest boss is again said to be under threat following successive defeats, insists Santos has the talent to thrive at the top level, being thrust into the heat of a relegation battle is unlikely to aid his development.

‘I’m not too sure about what’s been said,’ said Cooper. ‘Of course everyone would have liked Andrey to play more. He is a really good young player, but there isn’t a load of players his age who are playing regularly in the Premier League.

‘It is the sort of situation where if he was our player, he would be in the perfect situation of being in and around the first-team, looking to involve him and giving him some exposure when you can, but knowing you are developing him and getting him ready.

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‘The context to it is he isn’t our player, he is Chelsea’s, and that probably just adds a few question marks to the situation, which I understand.

‘I take individual youth development personally. It means a lot to me because of my background and where I spent a lot of my coaching years. That will be no different with Andrey.

‘In terms of the training programme, yes, game time has been very minimal. But I think the question has come up because we’re not his parent club.

‘But he’s a fine young player with a bright future. I really hope that whatever happens – even if he hasn’t had much game time up to now – he can take some positive experience from it.

‘We are certainly committing to our every day work with him, as we do with every player and particularly the young ones because of the stage of the journey they are on.

‘I repeat, not many players his age are playing loads of minutes in the Premier League.

‘When they’re not quite getting that, you have to make sure the development programme is right, which is what we are committing to even though he is owned by Chelsea.’

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