Arsenal have been linked with Santos wonderkid Gabriel Barbosa for the last few weeks now and conflicting reports will tell you that a deal may have been agreed for the youngster or that Santos won’t let their player go for any price. It’s one of those rumours that is up in the air with little credible knowledge onto where the deal stands, if there is even a deal at all.
But with all the talk surrounding Barbosa and the seemingly keen approach to his ability from Arsenal fans, there is one major flaw that may make you think twice before Wenger supposedly looks to activate Barbosa’s £41 million release clause.
Barbosa is a highly rated prospect in Brazil and has scored 54 goals in 148 appearances, which is a good stat for a player who has been hitting the heights in Brazil since he was sixteen. Barbosa also two goals in two appearances for his national side. He has power and pace and being dubbed the next Neymar to come out of Santos, is surely a point worth taking note of. However he lacks one major trait that could see him struggle in the Premier League.
If Barbosa was to sign for Arsenal it would be a major deal that would put him up there with the highest prices we have ever paid for players. Barbosa would be a big investment and one that Arsene Wenger would want to ensure is likely to be a positive one, with little chance of failing. However he would be taking a major risk as Barbosa has struggled in Brazil against some oppositions, as he doesn’t have the true physicality and strength of a striker. At 5″9 he isn’t the smallest striker you will see in the Premier League, the likes of Defoe has had no trouble in England over the years and is arguably one of the countries deadly strikers in front of goal. However for Barbosa his lack in strength could see him bullied on the pitch from defenders, especially if he is managing to be left on the ground by defenders in Brazil.
In the Premier League you need to be physical, strong and powerful in order to be one of the very best strikers, to stand your own and to beat the defender rather than the other way round. It could be an aspect that Barbosa would possibly need to adapt to, but it is a point worth noting nevertheless.
Of course this isn’t to get too carried away, we haven’t even signed the youngster, perhaps not even made an offer. But it is worth being aware that even though the ‘next Neymar’ may sound promising, perhaps Barbosa’s strengths wouldn’t play as well in the Premier League as we may like to think, especially at such a high investment.