Everything you need to know about Man Utd & City target Éverton Soares
It’s the time of year when the Brazilian domestic league is coming to an end, so as is customary in the football calendar, the top talents are being linked with moves to Europe in the January transfer window.
Brazil’s Serie A officially draws to a close on December 1, leaving Éverton with an opportune moment to make a move to Europe. Here’s everything you need to know about the 22-year-old.
How likely is a move?
ESPN are among a host of outlets reporting the interest is real, which would make sense given that Jose Mourinho has long been targeting a wide forward. The failure to land Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic has reportedly been a source of frustration.
However, Anthony Martial has been a revelation in recent weeks on the left of a front three, and the Frenchman is the same age as Éverton. Mourinho was willing to offload him in the summer but could be reconsidering that after he’s scored six goals in his last seven games.
There could still be a role for a new attacker, however, especially as Éverton is more of a traditional winger as opposed to a forward, nominally fitting Perisic’s profile. He apparently has a €80million release clause, which wouldn’t be prohibitive – and we know how much Mourinho loves a Brazilian.
Reports from Brazil, meanwhile, claim City have been scouting Éverton since he was 16 and that Pep Guardiola has personally called him to convince him to move to the Etihad Stadium rather than Old Trafford.
What kind of player is he?
With a heavily-inked neck and distinctive cross tattoo under his right eye, Éverton has certainly got the look of a modern-day footballer – and he’s a handy player too.
Better by the byline, he’s an adept dribbler but can cut inside and has an eye for a through ball. He’s bagged 10 goals from the wing this season, including in each of his last two games.
One cause of concern for United fans hoping to see him signed might be that he’s small and slight at just 5’7” and is not known for his defensive contributions. Mourinho famously builds his teams around height and physicality so would have to make an exception for this nippy winger.
What’s he done so far?
Éverton featured for Gremio as they won last season’s Copa Libertadores. They knocked out Botafogo and River Plate on the way to the final, in which they beat Argentine side Lanus 3-1 on aggregate.
However, he was a fringe figure in the decider, coming on as a substitute to play the final half hour of the first leg while remaining on the bench for the second.
He did make 10 appearances in the competition but was usually used as a substitute with a total of 230 minutes. He also only appeared from the bench for the final 20 minutes against Real Madrid in the Club World Cup.
But 2018 has been the year in which he’s really stepped up as a first-team player, making 25 appearances in the league so far as Gremio fight to finish in the top four and qualify for next year’s Libertadores.
He also bagged a brace in the first leg of the final of the spring’s Gaucho state tournament, which Gremio emphatically won 7-0 on aggregate against Brasil de Pelotas.
And Éverton’s performances have been impressive enough for him to be called up for the national team by Brazil coach Tite in September, appearing from the bench in friendly wins over USA and El Salvador.