Wellington’s Arsenal career is officially over after the winger tonight completed a return to Brazilian side Fluminense.
The move is of no surprise and has been in the offing for several weeks, but, upon reflection, the winger’s Arsenal career will go down as being rather bizarre, with Wellington failing to make a single first-team appearance, competitive or otherwise, during his six years at the club.
When details first emerged about Arsenal being interested in Wellington, way back in late 2008, the talk was of a Brazilian starlet who was destined for the big time, with the prospect boasting an enviable array of skills whilst also being able to take on opponents with ease.
He appeared to confirm his potential with some excellent performances whilst on trial with the Gunners, including in one game against Norwich City.
Eventually it emerged that Wellington had signed for Arsenal, although it took the club some time to ratify the deal. Then came the work permit issues, with the prospect having to spend time on loan at various clubs before he could be allowed to play competitively in England.
He barely featured during a spell with Levante before showing glimpses of his talent at Alcoyano, Ponferradina, Murcia and Almeria. Eventually he was granted permission to play in England, but, rather than feature for Arsenal in cup competitions, Wellington was dispatched on loan again, this time to Bolton Wanderers in the Championship.
Again he showcased his potential, but only in patches, and it was hoped that this summer he would finally get the opportunity to prove himself in the Arsenal first-team in pre-season.
As it has transpired, however, he has gone back to Brazil, and, at the age of 23, a concrete decision on his future had been long overdue. He joins the likes of Samuel Galindo and Pedro Botelho in having never represented competitively the club he signed for.
The only glimpses we saw of Wellington at Arsenal were in friendly fixtures. At one game, against Sutton United in 2013, he appeared delighted to be playing for the Gunners and took time before the match to interact with supporters.
Many fans, however, will never get to see Wellington play for the club. A rather strange Arsenal career has reached its conclusion.