After two years of close scrutiny, Chelsea officially announced that they have agreed on terms with Fluminense for Brazilian right-back Wallace. The Brazilian starlet is considered to be one of the most promising prospects in the famous Fluminense youth academy, but is Wallace a player Chelsea supporters need to keep their eye on?
Wallace Oliviera dos Santos (Cost £4.8m; Market Value: £1m)
18 years old: Right-footed Fullback
Strengths: Wallace is already a pretty fast player with some above average dribbling skills. His ball control and movement are strong, but of particular interest are his passing skills. He’s a surprisingly strong passer, not a common trait among fullbacks. He’s a solid crosser and a decent tackler. He has an incredibly high attacking work rate, similar to that of Dani Alves.
Weaknesses: Wallace is in desperate need of some polishing. His defending can be panicky at times. His defensive work rate can be suspect at times and because of his attacking nature he can be caught out of place a lot and he doesn’t always put himself in the best position. His defensive skills are hit or miss. He’s also not a major threat to score many goals.
Need to Knows: Believe it or not, Wallace has been at Fluminense since he was one and a half years old. He was one of three players Chelsea had first options on after the Deco transfer. Wallace has started 11 games for Fluimnense this season and played a total of 21, with his first senior team goal coming against Bahia in a 4-0 victory. Wallace was sent off after receiving two yellows in Fluminense’s first home fixture this season. His first appearance was on July 31, 2011 in a 4-0 victory over Ceara.
Overall Rating: (C+) The Wallace transfer is extremely tricky given the Todd Kane situation. If Chelsea were able to sign Wallace before May 1, then he would have been eligible as a “homegrown player” but that’s no longer an option. Wallace is a right back but he is quite versatile, being able to play as a right midfielder or left back. Kane is seen as one of Chelsea’s best academy players and the future battle at right back with Dave is one that could see Chelsea with incredible depth at a position they’ve struggled with in the past.
Chelsea scouts see something special in Wallace. Right now he looks like Dani Alves with the potential to be more of a Maicon-type player. It wouldn’t be too surprising if either he or Kane were converted into a right midfielder.