Burnley have new American owners and now they could have a top USMNT prospect heading to Turf Moor soon.
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CJ Santos is currently making his way at Portuguese giants Benfica but the 20-year-old goalkeeper is said to be keen on a Premier League and Burnley are said to be keen on bringing in a back-up goalkeeper to provide cover for Nick Pope.
According to a report from The Sun in England, Santos is pushing for a move to England as he is recently made his debut for Benfica B.
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The Pennsylvania native joined Benfica in 2016 from the Philadelphia Union academy and has been a regular for the USMNT youth teams, as he was called up to the first team for the January friendly win against Trinidad and Tobago in Florida.
Due to that call up, Santos should be eligible for a work permit in the UK and a few other USMNT youngsters have benefitted from those call ups recently.
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Paul Arriola and Daryl Dike were eligible for loan moves to Swansea City and Barnsley in the Championship respectively because they met work permit requirements due to their involvement in the friendly.
With Jordan Morris Swansea on loan too, there has been an influx of deals for USMNT players to England in recent weeks as the status of American players continues to soar thanks to Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna and many others impressing at some of the top clubs in Europe.
Santos would be a long-term option for Burnley but if he did sign for the Clarets, it is possible in a few years’ time he would be their first-choice goalkeeper as Pope, an England international, is constantly linked with a move to one of the Premier League’s top six.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell has struggled as Pope’s back-up and Burnley have moved on Joe Hart and Tom Heaton in recent seasons, so they are short in that area.
In an ideal world, Santos would join Burnley and then head out on loan to a Championship team next season to develop his game. With Manchester City’s Zack Steffen the clear number one for the USMNT, it will be intriguing to see if Santos can push him all the way for that role in the future.
It is even more intriguing as Santos played for the same youth team (FC Delco) in Pennsylvania as Steffen and then the Union before heading to Europe. Burnley and Manchester City are very close to each other, so a USMNT goalkeeping duo battling it out for the starting spot and in the Premier League in years to come is something that would be very cool to see.