by Andrew Doulton - 10th December 2015
Every top team across Europe looks at South America for the next big talent. Now for every gem that makes their way across the Atlantic there are many more that just do not cut the mustard. I believe this is even more evident when Brazilian Defenders make the move. Now I believe that in the case of Marlon Santos De Silva Barbosa there is plenty to get excited about, he is treading the same footsteps of the previous Fluminense colossus Thaigo Silva who also graduated from the academy in to the first team.
At just 185cm tall Marlon is not the tallest centre back out there, but what he lacks in height he more than makes up for with his other qualities. Once on the ball Marlon has strong technical abilities that he uses in a calm fashion when being closed down by opposition defenders. He also a very good turn of pace that enables him to chase down attackers but also make good attacking forward runs.
Another quality that Marlon has in his arsenal is his natural ability to produce a defence splitting pass from within his own half.
Marlon made his first team debut on the 22nd February 2014 as a substitute in the 5-2 victory over Sao Paulo. This was the break that Marlon needed as he went on to make 20 Serie A appearances for Sao Paulo in the 2013/14 season. The following season was equally as fruitful as his first with Marlon going on to make 22 League appearances and cementing his place as a first team regular. It was during this season that Marlon made two appearances in the Copa Sudamericana against Goias EC.
On the international front things are also progressing for nicely for Marlon. He has played in six u20 matches for Brazil and was a mainstay in the defence which saw Brazil reach the u20s World cup, unfortunately they did go on to loose that match to a very talented Serbian team.
Marlon must be doing something right as one of the big rumours out there is that Barcelona have a first option to take Marlon once their transfer embargo ends. In addition a host of Serie A teams had also made enquires. These kind of clauses seem quite common now in football but with the qualities possessed by Marlon, it is clear to see why he is so converted in European football. Now this seems very high praise indeed, but if he keeps progressing and continues to improve the future will be very bright indeed.