Chelsea F.C. have moved early and showed their hand with regards to their plans for next season as gaffer José Mourinho has dropped hints regarding an increased level of pro-activity in the market from the Champions. While many were caught off guard by the murmurs of a deal being pursued for Brazilian wunderkind Nathan a month ago, it was more the mechanics of the deal than the deal itself that had most of us scratching our heads. Those who have been blessed enough to watch him in all his glory at youth international level will tell you that Nathan is a supreme talent with the potential to become a genuine star in that trequartista role; yet it’s the fact that Atlético Paranaense have struggled to manage this great talent accordingly and now they have lost him for what will look like a paltry £ 4,5m in a few seasons time when he begins to complete his development and play at his more optimal levels consistently.
Nathan initially came to the attention of the international fraternity at the 2013 FIFA u-17 World Cup in an offensively astonishing Brazil side whose offense he orchestrated as a trequartista ought to do. Brazil were the best overall side in the group stages in the UAE and with the attacking unit of then Atlético Paranaense teammate Mosquito, eventual tournament top scorer Gabriel Boschilia and the next great Brazilian forward Gabriel Barbosa working in tandem, the Samba boys danced their way to the quarter-finals where they lost out to a stubborn Mexico side 10-11 on penalties after a 1-1 draw; Mexico would go on to lose to the second best overall side in the competition, prior to the knockout stages, as the Kelechi Iheanacho led Golden Eaglets blazed their way to an astonishing 4th FIFA u-17 crown.
One day, a few seasons from now, we will be able to trace the birth of many future stars back to the U.A.E in the latter stages of 2013; including the aforementioned Brazilian wonderkids, there was the Uruguyan Franco Acosta who impressed enough to secure a move to Villarreal, superstar in the making Alen Halilović who now plays for FC Barcelona was leading the Croatian young stars while Canada showed that they can produce a gem or two with Jordan Hamilton putting in a great shift for his side upfront and the Mexican trio of goal getting winger Leonardo Suárez who signed for Villarreal on a long term deal, towering shot-stopper Raúl Gudiño who is currently on loan at F.C Porto from CD Guadalajara and is doing very well for in the B side while 18 year old Érick Aguirre continues to hold down a regular slot in the Morelia starting unit at right fullback. The Nigerian duo of the aforementioned Kelechi Iheanacho, who signed for Manchester City after winning the adidas Golden Ball and striker Success Issac who is currently on loan to Granada from Udinese after moving from his native Benin City while another promising African talent continues to make waves in football as Frank Kessié went on to be capped by the Ivory Coast at 17 and is now on loan to Atalanta from Stella Club in his native Ivory Coast; the short and lethal striker Tomáš Vestenický of Slovakia also impressed and saw his performances rewarded with a long-term loan move to AS Roma from FC Nitra while Swedish forward Gustav Engvali has continued his great run of form with solid shifts for IFK Göteborg while countless other players from that tournament have continually shown that there was a plethora of talented footballers on display in the U.A.E at the 2013 FIFA u-17 World Cup and we shall be watching them develop over the next few seasons.
Nathan seemed like one of the premier players of his generation at a tournament that brought together the best players in the world at his level, unfortunately for many, the pass master seemed to struggle adjusting to the playing level and culture at first team level and his struggles may have seen the club value him lower than they ought to and offer him less than he felt he deserved in a contract dispute that should have never materialised when one considers how proactive a side ought to be when it comes to dealing with top class young talents that could lead the club to on-field success or bring in a transfer fee that can build some off-the-field success too.
Full Name: Nathan Allan de Souza
DoB: March 13th, 1996 (19)
PoB: Blumenau, Santa Catarina; Brazil
Caps & Goals: Brazil u/17 (5 Caps, 5 Goals), Brazil u/20 (14 Caps, 3 Goals)
Position/s: Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Deep-Lying Forward, Advanced Forward
Height: 1, 77m
Club: Atlético Paranaense (Joining Chelsea FC as of July 1st, 2015)
Club Jersey No: TBC
Club Appearances & Goals: 13 Games, 1 Assist
Development Academy: Atlético Paranaense
Transfer Fee: € 4,5m
Market Value: € 1m
GSV Deal Grader: Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool FC from Inter Milan (3/5)
Chelsea have stuck to their policy of paying decent fees for good young players with greater potential and loaning them out while thy continue their development and hopefully break into the first team side or sold on to a good club for a handsome profit; Nathan has been told that his fate will lie out on loan next season, but the lad would much rather be a Chelsea player out on loan somewhere at a decent club in a half-decent league than a promising player being blanked in the u/23 side at Atlético Paranaense. Chelsea know that they will be the ones laughing all the way to the bank after this is all said and done, they know that they have bought potential but they bought great potential at what should be considered a price floor for promising players and Bob’s your FC Rostov scarf waving dyadya mate.