Brazil is often thought of for its vast array of attacking players produced down the years but defenders such as Aldair, Lucio and Thiago Silva form some of the most notable names in recent years. The latter of whom looks set to complete a big-money move from AC Milan to Paris Saint-Germain in the coming weeks. With the Rossoneri eager to bring in a replacement, they are reported to be closing in on Manchester United target Dede. The Red Devils must make their long standing interest official now or risk losing out on one of the best defenders in South America.
Dede currently plies his trade for Vasco da Gama and since joining the club in 2009, has gone on to make the centre of defence his own. Voted as one of the centre-backs in the Brasileirao team of the year in both 2010 and 2011, the 23-year-old’s talents are already widely recognised in his homeland. He helped provide a solid foundation for Vasco last year as they won the Copa do Brasil, challenged for the Brazilian title – finishing second – and reached the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals only to be eliminated by eventual winners Universidad de Chile.
As such a pivotal figure for his club Dede received his first international cap in September as Brazil won the Superclasico de las Americas over arch rivals Argentina. Though the teams selected for this competition were of solely domestically-based players, the centre-back had also featured in the squads picked for friendlies against Germany and Ghana beforehand. Barring any unexpected occurrences he would largely be expected to participate in the 2014 World Cup, challenging David Luiz and Thiago Silva for a starting berth in defence.
Standing at 6′ 4″ inches, Dede’s height makes him an imposing presence in defence. He is a powerful play who is not intimidated by the physical game. Yet he has a levelled temperament and remains a composed performer no matter the situation. Despite his size he does not lack for mobility, something he displayed by keeping Vagner Love quiet in the recent Carioca state championship match with Flamengo.
His consistently improving performances over the recent years attracted the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson. According to The Daily Mail Jaap Stam was sent to Brazil to cast his eye over the young defender in March of this year. Part of United’s treble-winning campaign in 1999, the Dutchman is no stranger to the attributes required to succeed in the Premier League. But the English club were not the only team reportedly interested with Juventus among others all intrigued in the prospect.
With Rio Ferdinand entering the twilight of his career the Old Trafford need to start preparing for life without him. They do possess exciting young talents in Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, but in Dede they would have a player of a similar mould to Nemanja Vidic. The Brazilian has only a few more years to his name than the England duo, but at such an age the difference they make are huge. He is a player who could be capable of achieving world class status and seems a perfect fit for the Premier League. Manchester United would rue missing out on his signature.
Vasco currently find themselves in somewhat of a financial crisis and so the potential fee of £15million to acquire Dede’s services suggested by the club’s president to Sport Italia should not provide a deterrent. He also revealed that no bids had yet been received, but United must make their interest formal soon or risk losing out on one of the greatest talents in Brazilian football at the moment.