Marca are reporting that the agent of Gustavo Maia has said to Radio Transamerica that he is of the belief that the Brazilian would join Barcelona this summer. In the interview, Maia has revealed that he is confident of the Catalan giants completing the deal before the transfer window closes.
Who is Gustavo Maia?
The teenager started at Milan-DF at a very early age and soon joined Brasilia Futebol Academia where he spent his formative years. Later, he had the opportunity to join Sao Paulo, one of the best clubs in Brazil. A centre-forward by trade, the youngster can play as a sole striker or in a two-man forward set up. His versatility has been the key, and this has made the Barca scouts take notice of him.
Although he is yet to make an appearance for the Sao Paulo senior side, the 19-year-old has already made waves in the football world. The starlet is exceptionally talented and blessed with skills that can match with some of the best in the world.
Like many Brazilian forwards, Maia has a knack for dribbling his way past defenders of the opposition. He can also combine well with his teammates, playing the one-twos quite well. The young gun is also capable of dropping back and timing his runs to perfection to find the space in the final third.
The other facet of his game is his passing range. Maia can play accurate long diagonal balls to his teammates, which can open up the gaps brilliantly. The opposition defenders are always on their toes as to what should be their strategy with the youngster. If they get too close to him, he can dribble with the ball at his feet and beat them and if given space, he gets his fellow players involved wonderfully.
There is one aspect in the Sao Paulo player that Barcelona would try to improve. For a boy of 19, he is not at all physically developed and has been extremely lightweight so far in his career. While that gives him a low centre of gravity, it would be hard for him to cope up with the physicality of European football. However, being short gives him one advantage, though. Maia can twist his body and take a turn to perfection, and that becomes very cumbersome for his marker to keep up with him.
What would be his role at Barcelona?
The Cules have been trying to find the ideal replacement of Neymar for a long time. While Dembele has failed to live up to expectations, Coutinho has not done anything to justify his value. Gustavo Maia has all the attributes that we find in Brazilians, and with time he can be developed into the next Neymar.
Although extremely raw at this stage, he would be having the benefit of the best facilities in the world, and that could accelerate his development. In a few years, we may have a world-beater on our hands, and then the Catalan giants can benefit.
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