This article is part of Football FanCast’s Expert Roundup feature, which provides three quotes from those in the know in order to illuminate fundamental strengths, weaknesses, quirks, kinks, stylistic comparisons and general observations of transfer targets and confirmed signings.
Despite their limited summer transfer budget Arsenal’s keen interest in Brazil’s superstar-in-the-making Everton Soares continues apace with a recent development arriving in the unlikely form of the player’s wife uploading a video showing the Gremio star learning English.
This was swiftly combined with the revelation that the Gunners have sent a club medic to South America to check on the skilful winger ahead of a reported £35m swoop.
Most revealingly of all the 23-year-old said this week in response to the rumours: “Right now I have an offer on the plate, but I can’t say the name of the club in question.”
It seems Everton likes to tease, whether he has the ball at his feet or not, but who is this extravagant talent who might potentially light up the Emirates next season? We turned to those who know him best to find out…
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Long highly-rated, the player nicknamed ‘Little Onion’ has seen his stock rise hugely since his eye-catching displays at this summer’s Copa America. On home turf Everton finished the tournament as the leading goal-scorer and dispensed concerns about Neymar’s absence.
All of which must be music to the ears of Bolzan, Gremio’s president, who surely now will be hoping a bidding war commences.
Even so, when he speaks of his prized asset he does so from the heart. As per The Independent:
“Everton is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best players in South America, and maybe even the world. He is exceptional.”
Before Gremio there was Fortaleza, where the player learned his craft. One of his coaches as he shot through the ranks clearly appreciated his dedication. As per the Guardian:
“We didn’t see Everton joking or playing with the other boys. He was very quiet. His business was to work. Everton has always been determined. He always worked hard on everything we wanted to do. He never complained. Always silent. He always did as we wanted, the way we asked. He always said yes to the coaches.”
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It would be asking a lot to expect the legendary sourpuss to be overly complimentary on his brightest young hope and here he is anything but. Yet Tite’s criticism following a disappointing goalless stalemate against Venezuela is pertinent in light of Veras’ thoughts on the player’s willingness to listen and learn.
“He showed good volume (of work), but did not have effectiveness, did not leave the goal. It is important to have young players, but important also to have consistency. When David (Neres) came in, he gave a better response. When Chives came in, he gave a good answer, too.”
Wanted by an elite club in Arsenal and now established in the Selecao set-up, Everton’s magical trickery makes him an intriguing swoop for the north Londoners. Go get him.