Ney Franco lauds Wellington influence
Ney Franco has praised the influence of midfielder Wellington since his recent return to first-team action following a six-month injury lay-off.
Wellington, 21, could well have been heading for a place in the Brazilian Olympic set-up, but tore his anterior cruciate ligament in February that would see him miss most of the season so far.
Having been eased back into regular action, Wellington has recently struck-up a strong partnership with Arsenal loanee Denilson in defensive midfield - a place previously occupied by Maicon.
Former Brazil Under-20 coach Ney Franco, though, believes that Wellington's return to action has had a big influence on São Paulo's recent good form.
"He is a player we have been very careful with, because he was out for six months," he told Globo Esporte. "He was a big miss against Coritiba [suspension] and he is doing very well recently. He has a great chance of being a regular starter.
"I really liked the team's display. The selflessness of those two [Wellington and Denilson] was decisive in winning the midfield battles all game.
"Obviously, Osvaldo and Lucas out wide, and Jadson, centrally, also helped, but Wellington was only substituted because he was on a yellow-card."
Wellington is already being tracked by clubs in Europe and, following the transfer of Jádson, is 30% owned by Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk.