There seems to endless talent in South America, especially in Argentina in Brazil, but players like Ricardo Centurión from Racing, Leandro Damião from Internacional, Leandro Paredes from Boca Juniors, Ezequiel Cirigliano from River Plate and Facundo Ferreyra from Velez standout among the rest.
Leandro Damião, Internacional
One of the more talked about players in the last couple of seasons, mostly linked with Tottenham. At 23, the big (1.87) Brazilian striker is looking to move on from Brazil after three seasons with Internacional, scoring 74 goals in 129 appearances, winning the Copa Libertadores in 2010 and two State titles. He’s priced at £15 million by Tottenham, but his club are looking for more money, knowing Juventus, AC Milan and Real Madrid are also interested. Internacional’s recent sale of Oscar has increased their reluctance to part with the player, with some Brazilian clubs able to offer quite a lot of money to their best players, not far from matching salaries in European leagues.
Ricardo Centurión, Racing – The 19 year old winger has been compared to Angel Di Maria for his ability to use both feet and his cool head in the danger area, gaining a lot of fame playing in his first Avellaneda Derby, being involved in both goals as Racing beat Indepediente 2-0. He has played for the U-20 side a few times, not really impressing in their most recent tournament.
Porto and Benfica have both had offers turned down, while Real Madrid have sent scouts to watch him and AC Milan have also expressed a real desire to bring him to Serie A. It’s assumed that a £12.5 million offer might be enough to convince Racing to sell the player.
Ezequiel Cirigliano, River Plate – The 20 year old defensive midfielder might be small of stature, often compared to Javier Mascherano for the River link and for his defending abilities. Cirigliano began his permanent fixture phase of his career when River played in the second division last season, and has already attracted interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and PSG.
Facundo Ferreyra, Velez
The 21 year old striker began his career at Banfield, but has gone some sort of upgrade since switching to Velez before this season, scoring 13 goals in 15 matches so far, making him the top scorer in last year’s Inicial, helping Velez win the title.
His nickname is Chucky but like every other prolific striker growing up in Argentina, he’s compared to Hernan Crespo. He has drawn interest from Everton, Roma, Inter and Tottenham.
Leandro Paredes, Boca Juniors – Only 18, Paredes is already dubbed by some as the next great no. 10 for Argentina, although he hasn’t played much to help people make a final decision. On his first full season with Boca, Paredes scored 4 goals in the Torneo Inicial and is already gaining a reputation as a fantastic free kick taker.
AC Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid are the big names looking at the youngster, but Tottenham and Manchester City are also interested, with some saying that an offer of £5 million might be enough to lure him away from Argentina.