In the past couple of weeks there has been a wealth of media interest and speculation surrounding a young Brazilian forward by the name of Leandro Damiao. Among the contenders, vying for his signature are Tottenham , their fierce North London rivals Arsenal and Spanish giants Barcelona .
Following the strikers’ blistering season in the Brazilian Gaucho State Championship in which he found the net 16 times for his club Internacional it was inevitable, as with many young talents to emerge from South America that interest would come from Europe’s elite.
But who, if any of the interested clubs present the best option for Leandro? Barcelona would seem to be an irresistible option for the player; having the opportunity to play in one of the world’s largest stadiums, running onto through balls from Xavi or Iniesta and being able to name Messi and David Villa as your strike partners. However, with Barcelona also looking increasingly likely to sign Giuseppe Rossi from Villareal, added to the possible return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic from his loan spell at AC Milan, young Leandro may find himself restricted to the bench.
The prospect of first team football may then lead him to North London, where bitter rivals Arsenal and Tottenham are both reported to be chasing his signature. Arsenal are famous for nurturing promising young talents into household names, however, Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to risk parting with a large sum on unproven players may prevent them meeting Internacional’s supposed valuation of £13.2 million. The Gunners also like to play with a five man midfield, meaning only one place up front, a position which would certainly be filled by Dutch hit man Robin Van Persie. Yet again, the young Brazilian would be looking at considerable time spent on the sidelines should he make the switch to Arsenal.
We are then left with Tottenham, where he would not only be their first choice striker unless they spend big on players such as Falcao or Benzema, he would also feel at home amongst fellow Brazilians Heurelho Gomes and Sandro, with Leandro’s old Internacional team-mate and friend recently telling the media that “Not only do Spurs want him, we read that other sides are also interested in Leandro Damiao. Damiao is a guy who is globally known. He’s got quality,” he also claimed that “He is a very strong guy, he is the perfect size for English football, he can do very well here.” At 6ft 2” tall and strong in the air it seems that Damiao would thrive off of the numerous crosses from Spurs wingers, Lennon and Bale. His physical stature and aerial ability also mean that Damiao is comfortable playing as a lone striker, allowing him to link up with Dutch playmaker, Rafael Van der Vaart.
Due to the reasons stated above, the recent rumours that Spurs have flown a delegation out to Brazil and the fact that he plays for Internacional, with whom Tottenham have a sports partnership, it is the team from White Hart Lane that seem both the most suitable club for Leandro and also the most likely to acquire his services.
Read more of Richard Baker’s articles at This Is Futbol