Liverpool are interested in signing Internacional’s 18-year-old Brazilian midfielder Allan Rodrigues de Souza, with recent stories suggesting that a £500k deal is all but done.
The club spotted the player during the Frenz International youth tournament in Malaysia and Indonesia earlier this year, where a Liverpool squad made up of youth players including Sergi Canos, Pedro Chirivela, and Harry Wilson, competed with other youth teams from across the globe.
Internacional emerged victorious, defeating Argentine side Estudiantes in the final, but Liverpool were knocked out by Valencia at the quarter final stage.
Allan was one of Inter’s standout players throughout the competition, scoring this long range goal in their semi-final against Porto:
Allan is a left footed central midfielder with good passing ability and technique. On joining Liverpool he’s likely to go into the youth squad where he’ll look to further develop his natural abilities with the help of the club’s youth coaches.
He wore the number eight shirt for Internacional at the aforementioned youth competition, and this number accurately reflects his position on the pitch. He was his side’s captain during the tournament, and he showed good technique and composure on some poor quality pitches.
He likes to drop deep to pick up a pass from a defender or fellow midfielder, before looking to find a team-mate in a more advanced position. He also presses intensely without the ball, and will quickly close down an opposition player if he spots a chance to win the ball back.
As with many Brazilian number eights, he’ll be used to playing in tandem with a more disciplined holding player, as was the case with Lucas Leiva at Grêmio before he was moulded into a defensive midfielder at Liverpool. These players are ideal for a 4-2-2-2 or a 4-2-3-1 system, where one of the midfield pair holds a position in front of the defence, and the other roams forward.
He could also play in the centre of a diamond formation, and could operate as a regista thanks to his range of passing. Depending on how his game develops he could even be coached into a more defensive midfielder, as was the case with Lucas, but a central role is more likely.
His signing comes out of the blue for many followers of the game in Brazil, with Brazilian football expert Paulo Freitas commenting that he’s not necessarily viewed as one of the top young players back in his homeland.
@espitt He is a midfielder called Allan Rodrigues de Souza, not regarded among the most promising players here.
— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) July 4, 2015
Despite this, he obviously ticked plenty of boxes for Liverpool’s scouts, and his ability to take set pieces might have been one of the reasons the club were interested. The club lack set piece specialists, especially left-footed ones, and Allan’s dead ball delivery could be something the club feel they can work on at youth level, and hope he eventually progresses to the first team.
Allan’s agent is Giuliano Bertolucci, who also has the likes of Marquinhos, Oscar, and Juan Jesus on his books, as well as promising São Paulo midfielder Gabriel Boschilia. Bertolucci was heavily involved in the transfers of Ramires, Lucas Piazon, Oscar and David Luiz to Chelsea, and a similar relationship with Liverpool could see the club secure more young Brazilian talent in the future.
The following promotional video on the player, produced by Golmaisgol, shows some of Allan’s strengths.