The Sao Paulo attacking midfielder is as exciting as any teenager in the world game, but is not battle-tested. He's a raw, unpolished diamond that might never fulfill his extraordinary potential—high risk, high reward.
He reminds one of a young Cristiano Ronaldo—he shoots from any and every angle, and is known to hang on to the ball long, long after he should have passed.
And like the Portuguese superstar who made his name at Old Trafford, he is capable of beating any defender one-on-one, unleashing blistering long-range shots and is incredibly quick—a true prodigy.
But, if United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's interest is to be proven genuine, where in an increasingly loaded United team would he line up?
He is diminutive at 5"8, so unlike Ronaldo, incapable of playing in the striker role that the former United man has come to inhabit later in his career.
His size and agility would therefore be better served on either flank—not in a typical four-man midfield, but rather as one in a three-behind-the-striker role, with a further two sitting back to dictate the flow of the game.
This latter formation would also suit new signing Shinji Kagawa, who would occupy the trequartista position, sitting directly behind Wayne Rooney or Danny Welbeck with Lucas on either flank.
This, of course, might only be the temporary role for the Brazilian until he is able to fully adapt to the English game. Then he would possibly move into a more central role with the subsequent added responsibility it brings.
Either way, for those familiar with young Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva, any hint of United making a move is exciting news—perhaps the furthest step forward to directly replacing the X-factor himself—Cristiano Ronaldo.
The reported £35 million valuation is likely to prove the only stumbling block towards a move that would certainly revitalise United's much-criticised midfield (via The Mirror).