Arsenal’s policy of recruiting youngsters from non-EU countries has not exactly been met with much success. Carlos Vela is now thriving in Spain but failed to establish himself as a regular at Arsenal, Pedro Botelho didn’t feature for the first-team in his five years at the club and a similar fate is set to befall Samuel Galindo, with the Bolivian having not played a single minute of competitive football at any level this season.
Joel Campbell could well prove to be the exception to the rule when he returns from his latest loan spell this summer, but there is another young winger who will be hoping that his chance of success at Emirates Stadium hasn’t completely expired yet. Wellington Silva secured a move to Arsenal in 2010 amidst much publicity, but has rather dropped off the radar in recent times owing to some unsuccessful loan spells in Spain.
Wellington has spent time with Levante, Alcoyano and Ponferradina without setting the world alight but this season, at Real Murcia in the Spanish second division, the Brazilian has enjoyed considerably more success. The 21 year old has featured regularly for his temporary side in recent weeks and, although he’s only scored two goals this campaign, the majority of his performances have been mightily impressive.
Wellington is finally beginning to develop the tactical understanding to complement his undoubted technical ability, whilst his searing runs and dangerous crosses have helped him to maintain his place in he starting line-up. He has a little over two years remaining on his contract in England, but, with his work permit problems now firmly behind him, he will be hoping to finally receive an opportunity to prove his worth at a higher level.
The winger is no stranger to senior football, having featured competitively for his former side Fluminense before he joined Arsenal, but he will be seeking to impress when he returns to London for pre-season training in July. For the past two years he has trained with the U21 team, but this year, with many players away at the World Cup, he will hope to at least play some part in the senior team’s preparatory fixtures.
Beyond that, a loan spell in the Championship, to help him adjust to the rigours of English football, would be particularly beneficial. It is clear that Wellington has much talent and, although many may consider his Arsenal chance to be long gone, it would be rather a shame to see him depart without at least being afforded a genuine opportunity to impress.