After winning the Copa America, Brazil look to be back on their winning ways. They won without star man Neymar, which says a lot about the current state of their talent pool. Seasoned veterans like Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, and Philipe Coutinho were crucial to the team’s success, but their young and newer talent really stood out. Without focusing on players like Alisson and Gabriel Jesus, already renowned for their exploits in Europe, who will lead Brazil’s next generation into the future?
Brazil’s Next Generation
Éder Militão – Five Brazil Caps
Militão should become a household name in no time. After a stellar year at FC Porto, he completed a €50 million move to Real Madrid. The young Brazilian, however, will likely use next season as a transitional period. As great as he was at Porto, Real Madrid is the pinnacle of club football. Furthermore, Los Blancos already employ two of the world’s best centre backs in Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane. Militão is extremely versatile and can play as a right-back, but Real Madrid also have Dani Carvajal.
With a big-money move to his name, however, Militão should have multiple appearances off the bench and may even start league cup games. Ramos is approaching the twilight of his career, so Militão should be Varane’s partner in no time. Experience at this level of play will only make Militão one of football’s elite centre backs and a worthy partner of Marquinhos in Brazil’s future backline.
Arthur – 15 Brazil Caps
Arthur is already well known in Europe after a strong debut season for FC Barcelona. Due to this, he was a starter in Brazil’s Copa America side. His poise and passing ability make it hard to believe he is still only 22-years-old.
As good as Barcelona is and will be next season, their midfield is ageing. They brought in Dutch superstar Frenkie de Jong to plenty of applause, but Arthur will be just as vital to that midfield for years to come.
Brazil, however, has a boatload of talent at the midfield position. Casemiro looks to be a surefire starter as a defensive midfielder, but Arthur surely cemented his place in Tite’s growing powerhouse.
Lucas Paquetá – Six Brazil Caps
Paquetá did not receive much playtime in the Copa America. This has nothing to do with his talent, but more so Philippe Coutinho’s importance to the national team. Furthermore, Paquetá has only showcased his talents in Europe for AC Milan for half a season so far.
The midfielder showed his ability to play in a central three for Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan. Following Gattuso’s sacking, Marco Giampaolo took over the reins of the club. Giampaolo opts to play with a more old-fashioned 4-3-1-2 formation, something that fits Paquetá’s qualities and should allow him to grow and flourish.
Not a natural central midfielder or winger, Paquetá prefers to play as an attacking midfielder right behind the strikers. This, of course, is what former Brazilian legend Ricardo Kaká did. It allows the player to be the main creator for his strikers, and notch in a goal or two every now and then. Tite does not use this formation with Brazil, but Paquetá playing in his natural position at the club level will allow him to reach his potential.
Everton Soares – 12 Brazil Caps
Everton was Brazil’s breakout player in the Copa America. He has three international goals to his name, all coming in the Copa and one even coming in the final. Everton is a natural winger but has all the capabilities to also play centrally.
The winger currently plies his trade for Gremio in Brazil. At 23-years-old and making a name for himself on the world stage, he looks set to finalize a move to Europe. According to A Bola, Everton sees Milan as an ideal destination. This would be a great spot for him to develop. He would reunite with Brazil teammate Paquetá and likely take up the role as the team’s second striker. Milan has a polished number nine in Krzysztof Piątek, but are looking for a forward to play directly behind him.
Whether Everton goes to Milan or not, he will surely secure a move to Europe this summer. After being Brazil’s leading goalscorer in the Copa America, he has cemented his place in the team’s attack.