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South American players on the move in summer transfer window

Written by on May 30, 2024

The biggest summer transfer window deal involving a South American player may well have exploded. Lucas Paquetá, West Ham’s Brazilian playmaker, might have joined Manchester City a year ago had his name not been involved in a betting scandal. By now, the player surely hoped that the issue would have gone away. Instead, he is being formally charged by the English FA, and though it might be a while before any definitive decision is come to, Paqueta will surely be seen as too hot to handle by potential suitors.

But there are plenty of other South Americans likely to be on the move — including some who are already in Europe. Here is a quick list..

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Murillo, 21, CB, Nottingham Forest / Brazil

If Forest need to sell in order to stay within financial rules, then their most bankable asset is this centre-back whose debut campaign was such a success that he was voted as player of the season. He joined from Corinthians with little more than 20 first team games behind him. The key question was whether he could adapt to a higher defensive line. He did so in triumph, and is a strong defender with a fine left foot who enjoys bringing the ball out from the back. Very unlucky not to have made the Brazil squad for the Copa America.

Éderson, 24, CM, Atalanta / Brazil

Tough and versatile central midfielder who was flying under the radar until winning a late call up to the Copa America and coming up with a magnificent performance in the Europa League final. High energy, physical strength and brings quality on the ball along with his lung power.

Gabriel Sara, 24, CM, Norwich City / Brazil

Strong left-footed central midfielder who was always seen in Brazil as a player fit for the Premier League. Joined Norwich two years ago with the dream of taking them out of the Championship — and if it hasn’t happened, then that is not his fault. Has shown enough in all phases of play to warrant a bigger stage, and is of interest to teams in both the Premier League and in Italy.

Yan Couto, 21, AM, Girona / Brazil

Attacking right-back who had a good season with Spain’s surprise side. His defensive deficiencies were cruelly exposed by Vinícius Júnior, and Manchester City appear unlikely to take up their option on the player. But his ability to burst down the flank and combine with the front players is being followed by some of Europe’s giants.

Ezequiel Fernandez, 21, CM, Boca Juniors / Argentina

Left-footed central midfielder who has made great progress over the last 18 months since returning from a loan spell with Tigre, calming down and taking better decisions. Can anchor the midfield or feature higher up the field. Perhaps lacks half a yard, but Benfica have been following him closely and hope they can have the same kind of success with him as they enjoyed with Enzo Fernández

Kevin Zenon, 22, AM, Boca Juniors / Argentina

Arrived unheralded at the start of the year from Union Santa Fe and has turned into a surprise hit. Attacking midfielder with an excellent left foot who has served as an interesting supply line for Edinson Cavani.

Ramón Sosa, 24, FW, Talleres / Paraguay

A late developer, fast and direct winger who has enjoyed the best time in his career so far in the last two years with Talleres in Argentina. Brazilian clubs have been interested, but the player and his agent have targeted a move to Europe in this window.

Luciano Rodríguez, 20, FW, Liverpool / Uruguay

Perhaps optimistically dubbed “the Uruguayan Mbappe” but has already accumulated an interesting resume. Was the star player in Uruguay’s 2023 Under-20 World Cup win and helped a tiny club to its first national league title. Incredibly strong and with dribbling skills in tight spaces as well. Will certainly be on the move this summer.

Allen Obando, 17, FW, Barcelona / Ecudaor

Lanky centre-forward who has been seen as a great hope for a while, interesting giants such as the City Group, Paris Saint Germain and the Catalan Barcelona. Has been in Europe for negotiations recently. So far there is little more than promise — he has just two senior goals to his name. One for the future.

Bento, 24, GK, Athletico Paranaense / Brazil

From a club with a rich tradition in producing goalkeepers. Played his first games for Brazil in the March friendlies, and surely added to his transfer value in the process. Athletic and cool under pressure. His club are not expecting him back after the Copa America, with Inter Milan the favourites to take him.

Fabricio Bruno, 28, CB, Flamengo / Brazil

An injury crisis at centre-back meant that he received a late first call up for the March friendlies, and he did so well that he put himself in the shop window. Limited on the ball, but a strong and quick defender who earned praise last year from Luis Suárez when the Uruguayan striker was playing in Brazil. Appears close to a deal with West Ham.

Wesley Gassova, 19, FW, Corinthians / Brazil

Powerful winger — right-footed but usually features cutting in from the left — who has made a big impression in difficult circumstances over the last few months. The club need to sell and he is their most bankable asset, and so an imminent move is likely, with plenty of Premier League interest. The only doubt: how will he cope in more compact football where his acceleration space is reduced?

Jhon Arias, 26, FW, Fluminense / Colombia

Picked up unheralded by Fluminense three years ago, and has become the soul and the motor of the reigning South American champions. Stocky little figure who can feature as a winger, or, as he is showing with the national team, further inside in a midfield role. Strong on the ball, excellent on the turn and was by far his team’s best player when they were overwhelmed by Manchester City at the end of last year in the Club World Cup.

Andre, 22, CM, Fluminense / Brazil

Central midfielder who plays a key role in a team whose unorthodox style gives him special responsibilities. Often covers large spaces in defence, has to receive the ball under pressure as they play their way out and drops to centre-back when the team are chasing the game. So vital that the club rejected offers last year when they were focused on winning the Copa Libertadores. This, then, is the window where he is expected to go — although matters could be complicated by a knee injury.

Lorran, 17, FW, Flamengo / Brazil

Left-footed attacking midfielder taking his impressive first steps in the senior side after winning a considerable reputation at youth level. Strong on the ball, with the vision to combine, has been on the receiving end of praise from Vinicius Junior, and Real Madrid are said to be interested.

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