SAO PAULO (AP) — Many talented and young Brazilian players hope to join European leagues this January and could be bargains for clubs seeking last-minute deals.
Some of them are among the best of the latest edition of the Brazilian championship.
Here are a few names to keep an eye on:
MATIAS ZARACHO — The 23-year-old Atletico Mineiro right-winger was key for the club’s first Brazilian championship title in 50 years, which was followed by the trophy of the Brazilian Cup. The Argentina native is fast and skilled. Zaracho scored seven goals and had two assists in the Brazilian championship. He can also play as a midfielder, which has rendered him comparisons with Willian. He has been linked to Bayer Leverkusen.
ANDRÉ – The 20-year-old Fluminense midfielder started last season in the youth division but quickly rose to be one of Brazil’s best in the position. A great passer, André played 26 matches for his club in the Brazilian championship and scored once — in the 1-0 victory over rival Flamengo. André’s style is often compared to Manchester City’s Fernandinho.
GABRIEL PEREIRA — The 20-year-old Corinthians right-winger scored his two first professional goals last year, which made him a fan favorite. Pereira’s moves often draw fouls, which also highlights that he still has to improve physically. Brazilian media reported he rejected an offer from Atlético Madrid in November.
MATHEUZINHO — The 21-year-old Flamengo right-back has become a frequent starter for a team that has a Chile national team player competing for the same position. A good marker and passer, Matheuzinho played 58 matches last season, with two goals and seven assists. Brazil coach Tite reportedly has his eye on him for a position he desperately needs players for — so don’t be surprised if Matheuzinho makes the World Cup team.
ARTUR — The 23-year-old striker was key for Red Bull Bragantino to reach the final of the Copa Sudamericana and qualify for this year’s Copa Libertadores. He scored 21 goals in 2020, most from powerful shots, which has reportedly brought him the interest of several European clubs. His agents say he is expected to join RB Leipzig in the middle of the year unless a better offer appears.