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Manchester United have identified Fluminense centre-forward Richarlison as a potential transfer target, according to reports from Italian outlet Calciomercato.
The report also claims that AC Milan are monitoring the 20-year old forward and his current club have slapped a €20million price tag on him. The player’s agent Renato Velasco further revealed that Serie A clubs Inter Milan and Sampdoria are also interested in the player and stated that he is ready to make the big move to Europe. Speaking to FCInternews.it, he said (via Talksport):
“Yes, there is interest from a few clubs in your country [Italy]. Inter and Sampdoria, yes, but not the Rossoneri, at least not right now.
“The truth is that he is ready to play for any club, big or small and there is a lot of speculation around him. He is talking about Italy, but also England and Holland.”
With so much interest in the player, let’s take a closer look at who exactly Richarlison is and if he is worthy of all the interest and attention.
Born in Nova Venacia, Brazil, on 10 May 1997, Richarlison started off his footballing journey with Real Noroeste, before moving on to join the academy of America Mineiro in December 2014. He was called up to the senior team in six months, making his debut in July 2015, against Mogi Mirim, scoring the last goal in a 3-1 win. He finished the season with 9 goals and 4 assists in 24 games.
Richarlison was then signed up by Fluminense in December the same year. He made his debut for his new side in May 2016 and scored his first goal a month later. He did not have the most prolific of years though, as he finished with just 4 goals in 2016 from 31 outings. In the 2017 season however, he has produced returns of 7 goals and 3 assists from 16 games in the Brazilian Serie A and the Copa Sudamericana combined.
The 20-year old made his debut for the Brazil U-20 side last year in September 2016 and till date has racked up 10 appearances, scoring 3 goals.
An old-fashioned centre-forward, Richarlison can play on the flanks as well, as he has done for most parts in the ongoing season for Fluminense.
A good dribbler of the ball, the Brazilian youth international has shown decent skills with the ball at his feet and has a decent turn of pace as well, due to which he tends to draw a lot of fouls in dangerous positions. He displays intelligence and smartness in his movement and has that knack to get in behind the defences on regular occasions.
Richarlison is more than decent in the air as well. While he does have good composure, he lacks a bit of accuracy in his finishing and this needs to be worked upon hard.
The 20-year old is contracted to Fluminense until 2020, and they have set a €20million asking price for him. While his goal-scoring record may not be prolific, he has definitely shown great potential so far.
However, United have players like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford who exhibit similar attributes and it is likely that if a move does materialise, it will very likely be with one of the many Italian clubs who are interested.