by Andrew Doulton - 23rd December 2015
In this article I have picked out a team of 11 players from the Brazilian league who could be next to make their big move to Europe.
One thing that was visible to me quite early on was the amount of young players that get opportunities to play first team football whilst at big clubs. When you compare this to leagues like the premier league it is clear to see why the Brazilian national team always seems to consistently be producing good quality players with so much experience at a young age.
Obviously it is very difficult to predict who could be move on, but the players that I have selected (with the exception of the Goal Keeper) have all been linked with moves to big clubs in Europe
Goal Keeper – Jean Paolo Fernades Filho
The first position in any team is obviously the Goal Keeper. Like any league in the world it is very rare that a young goal keeper is given 1st team football in the top flight. I ended up choosing Filho due to his exposure in to Brazilian U20s where he has made 6 appearances. Although he has not played in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A he has managed to make some appearances in the Série B.
If I were describe Filho, I would say he is very good at coming of his line and has very good confidence for a goal keeper so young. He is also a good shot stopper is not afraid to challenge for a 50-50 ball. I would not be surprised if this keeper goes on to very good things.
Right Back – JOÃO PEDRO
For my right back I have gone with the talented JOÃO PEDRO of Palmeiras. At only 19 years of age he has already played 28 Série A games and appeared 4 times for the Brazilian U20s. JOÃO PEDRO is quick and is very good at making powerful runs forward from his full back position. In addition to his pace he is good on the ball and his movement off the ball is also of high quality.
When I think of Brazilian full backs on previous years he is in that exact same mold so it could be a very bright future for this full back. I remember the days when Caju was showing casing his skills in Europe and I guess this is who I would compare him with.
His abilitiy is already beginning to get noticed, as it was only in the summer that JOÃO PEDRO was linked with a move to Manchester United, Roma and Galatasaray.
Left Back - Wanderson de Jesus Martins (Caju)
Caju is another exciting player to be coming through in to the Santos first team. They seem to a have a real knack of brining through quality young players and giving them opportunities in the first team. Caju has so far managed 15 games for the first team and he has impressed.
Caju is again excellent going forward and is always looking for the overlap. His creativity is also good and he is good at placing crosses for players waiting in the box.
His talent has obviously not gone unnoticed with moves linking him to Udinese and Barcelona during 2015
Centre Back - Marlon Santos da Silva Barbosa
I have already written about Marlon before as Wonderkid for the future as he really has the ability to go very far.
Marlon does like to stride forward out of defense and he is able to do this well with his good strength and pace. It is these attributes that also help him defensively when closing down opponents. One attribute that Marlon uses well is his ability to pick out a good pass turning defense in to attack.
So far Marlon has played 46 first team matches in the heart of the Fluminense defense. It is these performances that are gaining him admirers and there I have seen reports that Barcelona has first option on him. Even if these reports are not true surely it is only a matter of time before this talented centre back is playing on the biggest stage.
Centre Back - Lucas Cavalcante Silva Afonso
Lucao is another young Brazilian centre back who is making his mark at Sao Paolo Futebol Clube. So far this young talent has played 45 first team game, 5 of which were in the Libertadores and 4 in the Copa Sudamericana. He has also featured 17 times for the Brazil U17s and has recently gone on to play for the U20s and U23s.
One very strong attribute of Lucao is his leadership abilities, he has always stood out as a leader on the pitch. Another of the qualities of Lucao has to be his anticipation, which enables him to read oppositional balls and make timely interceptions.
From what I have seen of this young defender he will be a top class defender in the future. I have not seen Lucao linked with anybody yet but I feel this is something that will change quite soon.
Defensive Midfield - Walace Souza Silva
I have to say there was only one player that I considered for this role. Walace Souza Silva is a tall strong defensive midfielder who played 34 games this season in the middle of an impressive Germio midfielder, this has led to opportunities in both the Brazil U20s and U23s.
I have always thought it is quality holding midfielders in the Brazil midfield that give them the balance going forward. I believe that in the future Walace will be a very influential player in the Brazilian midfield. He is very strong with a good burst of pace which enables him to stride past opposing players, but also ease players of the ball. He also seems to be very composed on the ball and has the ability to find a good pass. If I were to describe Walace I would say he is very much like Yaya Toure in his style of play. Now I know this is a very big player to compare Walace to, but he really does have allot of potential (check out some of his videos and make your own mind up).
It is not surprising that there is allot of interest in this player, I have seen just about every top Italian club linked with him.
Midfield Centre - Thiago Maia Alencar
Thiago Maia Alencar has been a revolation it the Santos Midfield this season at the age of just 18. Over the course of the 2014/15 Brazilian season he made a total 28 appearances which is some achievement at just 18 years old. The fact that he is getting these opportunities at a club as big as Santos shows you how special he could be.
One thing that I have noticed from watching him play is the fact he has the ability to drop deep to pick the ball up and calmly spread the ball around the pitch. Not only does he make himself available for the ball but also he seems to have the ability to slow things down which is a rare quality in someone so young. He has also featured 4 times for the Brazil U20s in 2015, which shows how fast he is progressing.
I am not sure you will see him move this time round but he is certainly one for the future and it would not surprise me if you see him playing in Europe soon. Being only 18 there have not been to many links out there, however I did see one report linking him with Athletico Madrid.
Attacking Midfield Central - Gerson Santos Da Silva - Now of ROMA
Gerson Santos Da Silva it’s a very exciting attacking midfield prospect that plays for Fluminense. He was born just outside of Rio De Janeiro and was quickly brought in to the youth ranks at Fluminense. Gerson has so much potential that his ability at times stands whilst playing with players of a similar age. At the age of 18 Gerson has this season made 29 Série A this season and has also played 8 games not for the Brazil U20s.
Gerson stands at 184cms, has very good strength, he has excellent technique and also a very good turn of pace which will often leave players in his wake. Due to his physical attributes he has been played across the midfield but his favored position seems to be in the advanced position where he can play dangerous attacking passes. He also has the added quality which sees him uses his pace and physical abilities to make forward runs in to the box.
It is not surprising that some one with so much talent has been linked with so many big clubs in Europe. It was rumored that Barcelona had a first option on Gerson but it is Roma that has stolen the march and have already agreed a fee to sign him on the 1st of January 2016 for a reported £11.2million. He really could be the next exceptional Brazilian star to move to Europe and Roma could really have a key player for the future here.
Right Wing - Gabriel Barbosa Almeida
Gabriel Barbosa Almeida is a very high regarded talented striker who currently plays for Santos. At the age of just 19 Gabriel has already played 72 games, Scored 19 and assisted 12 for one of Brazils biggest clubs Santos. Now these stats may not sound that impressive for a Striker regarded as one of the most talented in world football but he has played only once as a striker this year, instead being used on the wing.
The reason for playing on the wing maybe down to the fact that Santos has a very a strong squad, but aslo because he does like to work hard for the team and he is very good at running with the ball at his feet. Probably the most notable attribute that Gabigol seems to have is his ability to score. It is this ability that has seen him gain the nickname Gabigol. His ability has not gone unnoticed at an international level either as he was recently called into next years Brazil Olympics side where he could be playing alongside Neymar, this will frighten any defense.
So where next for this incredible talent, well I have seen him linked with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. However I believe he will follow in the footsteps of fellow star Neymar and he was quoted as saying it was every kids dream to appear for Barcelona. I guess allot will be clearer once the January window opens this season.
Left Wing - Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira
As well as Gabigol Brazil really do have a number of high quality attacking players coming through. Another of these is Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveria who is currently playing Série A side Corinthians.
It is there that Malcom has been making his mark on the left wing position where he has played 34 times this season scoring 5 allong the way. Malcom has also been a constant presence in the Brazillian U20s squad playing 11 times.
He has in the past been compared to Neymar due to the fact he is very good at dribbling with the ball, he has good pace and also good technique.
Like Gabigol it is also rumoured that Barcelona have been looking at him as well as Arsenal, Chelsea, Roma and either RB Leipzieg. Where ever the future leads for him I am sure he will be a star in the making for a Brazil side that is already bulging with talent.
Striker - Gabriel Fernando de Jesus
Out of the three front men that I chose Gabriel Fernando de Jesus is the least experienced. Even though I say least experienced he still managed to play 20 games for Palmeiras in the Série A, there are not many players in the Premier league who are given 20 games upfront at 18 years old.
Obviously I did not just pick him because he has played a host of games, I actually picked him as he really does have allot of potential. Like the two players I mentioned previously he has also been compared to Neymar but I have also see reports likening him to Pele, no pressure then! He has enviable pace, plenty of trickery and a low centre of gravity, which sees him tormenting opposition defenders on a regular basis.
I have not seen many transfer reports relating to this player, however there has been speculation that Arsenal are monitoring the situation.