Led by Marcel Brands, Everton now boast one of the most impressive transfer operations in world football.
The Blues’ recruitment in recent years has clearly helped with Carlo Ancelotti’s mission to make the club seriously competitive again, and they will certainly be planning for changes set to be introduced in the New Year.
Everton already boast some of the best South American players in the Premier League, with the likes of Richarlison and Yerry Mina.
And they could cut out the middle man to bring in even more in the future.
Imminent changes to the Football Association’s visa rules as a result of Brexit is sure to have a huge impact on the recruitment strategies of English clubs in the coming years.
With the end of freedom of movement for Europen citizens to the United Kingdom, British clubs will no longer be able to sign players from EU countries freely.
The new criteria set to be rolled out will lead to an increase in the number of players arriving in the Premier League and EFL from non-EU nations.
One of the footballing hotbeds outside of Europe is South America, with there already being a host of stars from the continent plying their trade in the Premier League.
The numbers of South American players competing in the Premier League is set to drastically increase in order to fill the European player void, so with that in mind, who are five promising players who could be attracting the attention of English clubs in the coming seasons?
Club: Red Bull Bragantino
Given the scouting efficiency of the Red Bull group, with a plethora of brilliant players coming through the ranks at RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig over the years, you can rest assured that Schwengber has exhibited himself as a prospect who has the potential to go far.
He’s not the tallest keeper, standing at 6ft1in, yet, he makes up for this with great agility and good reflexes.
Across the previous season, he has conceded just 26 league goals, this despite accumulating an Expected Goals against (xGA) total of just 30.5. This represents an impressive overperformance of 4.52 goals.
Not just exhibiting himself as a good shot-stopper, but the Brazilian also looks a composed and accurate passer, boasting a pass success rate of over 80% from an average of 18 passes per 90 during this same period.
Claudio Rodrigues Gomes
Club: Atlético Mineiro
The nicknamed Guga is an exciting young wing-back who’s already a regular in the Brazil U23 side.
He possess decent pace and skill when required, however, his attacking numbers are average at best with just a goal and assist in just under 2000 minutes of action the past year. Although this could be as a result of team tactics.
Either way, it’s his defensive capabilities that most stand out. Across the last year playing for Atlético Mineiro within Brazil’s Serie A, he’s recorded a very good defensive duel success rate of nearly 63%. He also reads the game well and exhibits good positioning off the ball.
Even more impressive is his ability in the air. He might only stand at 5ft9in, yet an imposing leap has meant he’s won nearly 66% of his aerial duels. This is a similar success rate to that of Reece James at Chelsea, and only three Premier League wing-backs can better the Chelsea man in this department this season.
On the subject of good defending, Fluminense’s Nino looks to have all the hallmarks.
He’s an imposing figure at 6ft2in, and this undoubtedly aids him in the air where he has won 62% of his aerial duels this season. It also aids his team from set-pieces and he’s scored three times from dead-ball situations so far.
He’s just as strong on the floor though winning 70% of his defensive duels too. His success rate in both areas ranks him amongst the top defenders in these departments across all of South America’s top five divisions.
For a modern centre-back though, particularly at a top side, being able to defend isn’t enough. You also require composure on the ball and an ability to step out of trouble or play imposing passes through an opponent’s set up.
His high average of 45 passes per 90 added with a success rate of 92% highlights him as a reliable and trustworthy passer from the back. Furthermore, his progressive run average of 1.9 indicates he’ll happily drive out of the defence with the ball when given the opportunity to do so.
Club: Vasco da Gama
Despite his age, Talles has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Neymar to become one of Brazil’s next world-renowned footballing stars. He is a skilled and technically gifted attacker who likes to operate in between the offensive lines on the left side of the pitch.
Although right-footed, he’s more than comfortable taking touches and making passes with his left. This maintains an air of unpredictability about his play. Obviously, he favours cutting onto his right to take shots or attempt diagonal balls into the box, yet if the option isn’t on, he will happily dribble to the byline or lay a pass off to an overlapping fullback.
Across all competitions, he’s attempted a high 7.6 dribbles per 90 in the past 12 months, with over half of those take ones coming off. His physique is both distinctive and imposing.
Unlike traditional wide men who are often small and expeditious, he stands at 6ft1in and has long-reaching legs. This unorthodox frame is very much a positive rather than a negative. His long legs give him an advantage in shielding the ball from opponents attempting to dispossess him, whilst his big strides aid him in covering larger areas of space in a shorter amount of time.
He exhibits and ability to get himself into good positions, however, his finishing does perhaps need to improve given that he has only scored twice from a combined xG of 5.35. Still though, he’s a player set for a bright future.
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Barbosa has already played in Europe after joining Inter Milan back in 2016 as a 20-year-old. It was a move that never really worked out, however. He spent one unsuccessful season with Inter before being sent out on loan for three straight campaigns, thereafter heading back to Brazil with Flamengo.
This should not reflect too badly on the forward as mitigating factors most likely played their part. Firstly, he joined Inter late in the transfer window meaning he didn’t get a pre-season to settle in with his new teammates. Secondly, there was little support from the club in aiding their new 20-year-old signing in adjusting to a different language and culture.
Since returning to Brazil, he’s been able to highlight why he’s a top striker that could play at the highest level. Across the past two seasons with Flamengo, he has scored 31 goals across just 40 league starts.
That figure derives from an xG of roughly 28.2, indicating a striker with a healthy and sustainable overperformance. His ability to be a constant goal threat is highlighted by his high average of over 3.5 shots per 90.
Whilst arguably at his best through the middle as a centre-forward, he can also play deeper, linking well with teammates or out wide, cutting in and creating good shooting opportunities for himself. This versatility is another facet of his appeal and it’s no surprise that he’s again a regular within the Brazil national team.