Having won the Serie A title in his first year with the AC Milan, Kaka became a key part of a squad that continued to push for major honours. Operating in a withdrawn role behind the striker, his superb vision, devastating passing and raw pace made him extremely tricky to defend against. However, since moving to Real Madrid in 2009, the former Ballon d’Or winner has struggled to make the same impact. With his future uncertain at this point, would the Premier League offer the platform for this faltering icon to rejuvenate his career?
His time at the Santiago Bernabeu has been hampered by a variety of injuries which have seen him spend a large amount of time in the treatment room. This has hindered his ability to nail down a regular spot in the Madrid team and has also seen him fall out of favour with the coach of the Brazilian national team, Mano Menezes. At the start of this year Kaka was performing far from the standards that had come to be expected. His touch had deserted him and he always looked off the pace, a step behind his team-mates. Yet his revitalised form at the end of this season offers hope that he can still make a meaningful contribution in one of the world’s best teams
At 30-years-old he will want to be playing regular first-team football, but the fantastic performances of Mesut Ozil have limited the playing time available to the Brazilian. The only space in which he could fit into the side is on the right wing, a position that Angel Di Maria is yet to truly make his own. But Kaka lacks the pace of past years to be able to perform effectively in a position which demands speed.
Nevertheless, there are certain to be a number of clubs in England who would be interested in securing his services. Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea could all fit him with a regular spot, but perhaps not all in his ideal position.
Recent form suggests he is still a player worthy of a world class club, but he would need to be accommodated in an attacking-midfield position to be worth the lay-out. This would mean a switch in formation for Manchester United who tend to play a flatter midfield. Arsenal also lean towards a horizontal middle trio, but by pushing Alex Song and Mikel Arteta deeper they would create space for Kaka to slot in. Though Gunners fans may worry about the Song-Robin Van Persie link that proved so fruitful this season being broken.
He would fit into both Tottenham and Chelsea’s current formations, and could well be a shrewd acquisition for either club. Whether they will be willing to part with such a sum of money for a player in the latter stages of his career remains to be seen, but Claude Makelele was a huge success when he joined the Blues from Real Madrid at the same age, though his role in the side was far less energetic.
Clearly not all these clubs may take an interest in purchasing the playmaker, and a potential stumbling block could come in the fact that Real would no doubt look to recoup a large amount of the €68.5m that they shelled out to sign him. His injury record will also cast some worries over a potential transfer, but given the chance to shine in the starting XI at any club, Kaka still has the ability to make a difference.