SCOUTING REPORT: Top 5 Brazilian superkids Premier League clubs must consider
Brad Davies nominates five young Brazilians making headlines at home and whom should be attracting offers from England's biggest clubs.
With the sheer volume of footballers produced by the 'talent factory' that is Brazil there's never a shortage of players waiting to be discovered and given a chance to shine on big European stages.
Of course identifying that talent is one thing, but having it translate across hemispheres, oceans and the huge cultural divide to England is quite another.
So as the international scouting networks of English Premier League clubs become increasingly sophisticated, the success rate in recruiting the next Juninho as opposed to a Kleberson will continue to improve.
Manchester United's partnership with Desportivo Brasil, in which they essentially outsource the scouting process to the club's owners (management company, Traffic) is a prime example of the increased scope English clubs are now getting on young Brazilian talent.
And thanks largely to players like Rafael and the Samba presence at Chelsea of Ramires, David Luiz, Oscar and Lucas Piazon all making a mark and proving their ability to adapt to the Premier League, the confidence in recruiting from South America has never been higher.
With the short term future of Neymar seeming to be at Santos, at least until after the 2014 World Cup, here's a look at five slightly lesser known faces English clubs should be seriously contemplating making a move for.
Leandro Damiao (Internacional)
A name that won't go away, Damiao has been heavily linked with a big money move to Europe over the last 12 months. The 23 year old is a ready-made top class forward who has become a Seleção regular in the last year and represented Brazil throughout their silver medal campaign at the London Olympics, finishing as it's leading scorer with 6 goals in 5 games.
Having begun his career as a midfielder, Damiao's evolution into a forward has seen him net 62 goals in 94 appearances for Internacional in the past two seasons. At 187cm he has the size to play as a target man and is an outstanding aerial threat which is sure to make him attractive to English clubs.
Andre Villas Boas has confirmed the interest of Tottenham and with Emmanuel Adebayor absent on Africa Cup of Nations duty the North Londoners may finally be ready to push through a deal.
The 19 year old stepped out of the shadow of Ganso in 2012 after the latter's transfer to Sao Paulo. Having being given increased playmaking responsibility in the team he blossomed into a key attacker for the Brazilian giants last season.
Such was the impression he made there have been strong suggestions that AC Milan want him as part of a deal sending Robinho back to Santos. His rapid rise in stature also earnt him a place in the highly rated midfield of Brazil's Under 20 side for the South American Championships. v High profile team mate Neymar has been impressed by the youngster saying: "He is playing very well in my opinion and he is honoring the No.10 shirt. He plays a different style to Ganso, who is a more classical player. Felipe relies more on his speed."
Victor Andrade (Santos)
Another product of Santos, Victor Andrade is one of the hottest prospects in Brazil right now despite only having made his first team debut last June. Santos have reportedly already inserted a 50 million buyout clause in the 17 year old's contract as Manchester City and Barcelona circle.
With the ability to operate as a left winger or striker he has pace to burn but at a slight 171cm will come in for heavy physical attention in the Premier League.
SporTV commentator Jota Junior has weighed in with heavy praise for the player saying, "Victor Andrade's still a boy. But he has a level of talent in his blood that few have when it comes to the art of playing football. Victor Andrade is destined to attract attention and is going to be a massive success."
A natural number 10 who is already making a name for himself at set pieces, Flamengo's Adryan is being tagged as one of the country's finest young talents.
The pint-sized attacker's exploits in 2011 as a member of Flamengo's Copinha winning team and Brazil's U17 World Cup side in which he was named it's player of the tournament have him well and truly on the radar of Europe's heavyweights.
Showing an admirable level-head, he has admitted to having already rebuffed the advances of Manchester United.
"Man United did talk to me and showed interest," he told Globo Esporte. "But I was not interested in moving at that point. Let's see if something adequate comes up in the future. I don't think about going to Europe so quickly, things need to be done step by step."
Matheus Macedo Doria (Botafogo)
An outstanding defensive prospect, Doria has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus in recent months. At 188 cm and 82kgs the 18 year old already boasts an impressive physical prescence as a central defender. The left footer has been likened to Giorgio Chiellini, with some claiming he has even greater technical ability.
With size and exceptional pace, Doria has the physical traits to be a force in the Premier League but English clubs will need to act swiftly if they are to beat out Juventus for his signature. His youth and lack of experience mean there is still much development ahead but his potential is mouth watering and with a World Cup winner for a father (Bebeto) the pedigree is certainly there.