Liverpool FC Summer Holiday – Scouting in Brazil

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As it’s the summer time the writers at Anfield Index are starting a new Summer Holiday series! Today we start with a a scouting report of players in Brazil!

Summer Holiday Brazil

Charles Aránguiz – Internacional

Charles Aránguiz was part of Chile’s triumphant Copa America squad, helping his country to victory on home soil alongside the likes of Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez.

Aránguiz was also part of Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli’s seminal Universidade de Chile side which won the Copa Sudamericana back in 2011. He’s gone from strength to strength since, especially at international level under the tutelage of Sampaoli.

He currently plays in Brazil for Internacional, where he’s won a couple of regional state championships, but it’s only a matter of time before the 26-year-old makes the move to Europe.

There isn’t much Aránguiz can’t do in a midfield, and he’s more than just a partner for Vidal. He has a deft touch in the final third, and will combine this with intelligent passing and movement.

On top of this he’ll work hard without the ball, pressing intensely and contributing defensively. His numbers for tackles and interceptions per game during the Copa are only just behind defensive midfielder Marcelo Diaz, and he played more minutes in the tournament than any of his midfield team-mates.

Copa America best XI

Aranguiz takes his place in WhoScored’s Copa America best XI.

He’d be an ideal signing for Liverpool, as he’d be able to play almost any role in midfield. You can imagine him playing almost any point of a diamond, which by extension means he could do a job in any midfield position.

He’s what we all want Joe Allen to be.

Gerson – Fluminense

18-year-old Brazilian youth international Gerson Santos da Silva is one of the bright prospects currently plying his trade in the Brasileirão

Having started out as a central midfielder, the left-footer has moved further forward, becoming a regular in the Fluminense first team playing as one of the wide players in a three or as a support striker.

However, he attracted the attention of several European based scouts thanks to his performances in midfield, with Juventus scout Javier Ribalta comparing him to Paul Pogba when he said: “He is a good player. Pogba is Pogba, but Gerson looks a bit like Pogba, only left-sided,”

He was one of the few Brazilian players to impress at the 2015 South American Youth Championship, and for a nation who used to boast countless future superstars in each youth category, he’s currently one of an ever dwindling number.

At international level, bearing the name Gerson will always bring extra pressure, as he shares it with one of Brazil’s all-time greats in terms of intelligent, passing midfielders – Gérson de Oliveira Nunes – who drove them on to World Cup glory in Mexico back in 1970.

As well as Juventus, Gerson has also been linked with Barcelona, who are rumoured to have paid Fluminense a fee allowing them first option on the player should he be sold.

Rodrigo Dourado – Internacional

To get the overblown, exaggerated comparison out of the way early, he’s the Brazilian Sergio Busquets…

Rodrigo Dourado has wandered effortlessly into the Internacional midfield this year, playing in both the Copa Libertadores and the Brazilian first division.

Settling into the side like a seasoned pro, he belied his age of 21, and commanded his position deep in the midfield with composure and confidence.

On his way to the Internacional first team he represented his country at u14 and u15 level, but didn’t quite break into the u20 squad. Despite this he’s still been on the radar of several European scouts – most publicly those of Manchester United – thanks to his impressive performances in the high profile Copa Libertadores competition.

What he lacks in speed, he makes up for in intelligence, positioning, and anticipation. In future years you could easily see him doing a job as a ball playing centre-back in the style of Javi Martinez.

Dourado-Busquets-comparison

Tall, composed, and intelligent with an eye for a pass, he also leads the Internacional team when it comes to tackles and interceptions per game. Maybe the Busquets comparisons aren’t too far off the mark.

Jefferson – Botafogo

Botafogo goalkeeper Jefferson is a legend at the Rio de Janeiro club, and this year he’s finally got the recognition he deserves at national team level, becoming his country’s number one.

At the age of 32 he’s no trendy wonderkid, but for a club like Liverpool who appear to have endless troubles in the goalkeeping department, especially back-up ones, he’d be an experienced if slightly leftfield choice.

He’s currently playing his club football in Brazil’s second division, and has long been the saviour of a Botafogo team who’ve declined dramatically since the departure of Clarence Seedorf at the end of 2013.

Jefferson has had a stint in the European leagues before, with Trabzonspor and Konyaspor in Turkey, but since then he’s added a level-headedness to his natural agility between the posts.

He returned to Brazil in 2009, and has now made over 150 appearances for Botafogo. Despite his loyalty to the club the fans shouldn’t begrudge him another European adventure before his career comes to an end.

Walace – Grêmio

Walace Souza Silva is a right footed defensive midfielder who offers something different to the aforementioned Rodrigo Dourado.

Having played his youth football at centre-back as well as in midfield, he offers a dynamism and energy from deep, and can use this to drive a team forward in the middle third.

He’ll break up opposition play across the pitch in front of the back four, and would be an ideal partner for someone like Dourado.

On top of his defensive ability and natural strength, he’s technically good and will offload passes to midfielders further forward in order to instigate attacks. He’s also demonstrated an ability to beat a man in midfield in order to escape a tricky situation.

In terms of European based comparisons he has the potential to be a cross between Grzegorz Krakoviak, William Carvalho, and Victor Wanyama.

He will pick up a yellow card here and there, but this is to be expected of a combative defensive minded midfielder. As you can see from the video below, he’d be ideal for a side like Liverpool who should be looking for a midfielder with tenacity and defensive ability.

Others?

There are others, but this report was done with an eye on the positions for which Liverpool might need reinforcements. Renê of Sport Recife was considered for the left-back position, but didn’t quite make the list of five.

Uruguayan playmaker Giorgian De Arrascaeta of Cruzeiro, and São Paulo’s Brazilian youngster Gabriel Boschilia would get a mention in most other scout reports, as well as numerous other players who have the potential to go far in the game if they can develop the mentality to go with their football gifts.

Even though there aren’t the countless wonderkids Brazil might have boasted in years gone by, there are still talented players who are on the verge of such status.

The likes of Gabriel Barbosa and Paulo Henrique Ganso are examples of once hyped players who are currently experiencing something of a lull, so are off the radar, but these players can still come good in later years, especially Gabriel who’s still only 18.

Everyone remembers when Dedé was the best centre-back since Thiago Silva, and Dória was set to be his future partner at national team level, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way so far. They’re still playing in Brazil, for Cruzeiro and São Paulo respectively, and in terms of an alternative at left centre-back, a side like Liverpool could do a lot worse than take a punt on Dória,

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