Blog Written by Jordan Elgott (@JElgott):
It wouldn’t be the same summer transfer window that we have come to know and love, without rumoured moves for at least a dozen Brazilian ‘wonderkids’. Thankfully, this summer has been no different with a host of Brazilians, young and old, looking to make the move from South America to Europe. In the past five to ten years, these moves have been hit and miss - players such as Neymar and Douglas Costa have flourished, whilst others such as Keirrison and Kerlon have seen their careers stagnate enormously. Let’s take a look at the chances of success for the four high-profile players who will be making the move, this year.
Paulo Henrique Ganso
The 26-year-old deep-lying playmaker became Sevilla’s sixth summer signing since Jorge Sampaoli took over, completing a move from Sao Paolo for an undisclosed fee. His name may ring a bell for many readers, as he was once talked about in the same breath as Neymar, whilst they played at Santos together. Both were widely regarded as the next big things to come out of Brazil, and whilst Neymar is certainly on the way to fulfilling his potential, Ganso never really kicked on since leaving Santos. He finally leaves Brazil having made 140 appearances for Sao Paolo, with the hope of becoming the player the world was once so desperate to see. Ganso is likely to be the replacement for the recently departed, Ever Banega, who left Sevilla to join Inter Milan on a free transfer earlier this summer. His lack of pace and dynamism are a big concern however, as Sampaoli is known for his exhausting pressing tactics.
Chance of success: 5/10
Alexandre Pato is another Brazilian who has already sealed his move to Europe this summer, as Villarreal have snapped up the striker, striking a deal with Corinthians. Pato, who is also 26, has of course already played in Europe before, having had a successful spell at A.C. Milan between 2007 and 2012. The striker scored 51 goals in 117 games for the Rossoneri, a very impressive return for a young player in a tough league. Unfortunately, Pato’s career has regressed significantly since leaving Milan, with disappointing spells at Corinthians and Chelsea in the past few years. It is now surely make or break for Pato in Europe, and I am not convinced he has what it takes to succeed.
Chance of success: 3/10
The highly rated 19-year-old forward, nicknamed ‘Gabigol’ has been linked with a whole host of clubs around Europe since he broke onto the scene for club and country.
Since 2013, he has scored 24 goals in 82 games, whilst also scoring twice in four appearances for his country. Modesto Roma, the president of Santos F.C confirmed on Tuesday that that the club had accepted a €20 million bid for Gabigol from Juventus but that the player and his family will need to make a decision. It is widely rumoured however, that Barcelona have first refusal on the youngster and may be tempted into moving for the youngster, with Luis Enrique desperate to boost his squad depth. Gabigol has consistently impressed for both club and country and in my opinion, stands a very good chance of being a success, if he makes the move to Europe.
Chance of success: 7/10
Despite playing fifty games less than Gabriel Barbosa, Jesus is seen by many who watch Brazilian football as the better talent. The 19-year-old forward looks to be heading to England, with both Manchester City and Manchester United interested in the youngster. Jesus appears to be closer to City however, with his agent claiming that talks with The Blues are at a ‘very advanced’ stage. It is said that Pep Guardiola played a huge part in swaying Jesus away from the clutches of Real Madrid, with MARCA claiming that Madrid are furious with Guardiola’s ‘tapping up’ of the forward. Manchester United are supposedly willing to outbid City, but according to numerous reports, the youngster is desperate to work with Guardiola. Having scored 10 goals in his first 14 games this season, Jesus wants to finish what he started with Palmeiras, and then move to Manchester when the Brazilian league is concluded in December. Under the fantastic guidance of Pep Guardiola, a man who is known for his youth development skills, it seems unlikely that Gabriel Jesus would fail.
Chance of success: 8/10
History suggests that there is little chance of the four Brazilians mentioned, all succeeding. In my opinion, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Barbosa are by far the most likely to do well in Europe. Whilst Pato has been a hit previously, he is at least four years past his peak and will struggle to reach the levels shown during his time in Milan. Ganso could go either way, he has undeniable quality but there are question marks over how well he will adapt to La Liga and Sampaoli’s tactics. Both Jesus and Barbosa have unlimited potential and under the right guidance, they could flourish in Europe. The duo are set to star for Brazil in the forthcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with clubs around the world undoubtedly watching on eagerly.