Tracking the Development of Brazil's Top Youth Prospects

Callum FoxContributor IIIMay 20, 2013

Tracking the Development of Brazil's Top Youth Prospects

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    With the transfer window upon us, clubs are set to scour Brazil for their most promising youngsters. We reveal the top youth prospects that scouts should be keeping an eye on.

    Brazil has never been short of footballing talent, clubs bursting to the seams with promising youngsters with hopes of making it in Europe and plying their trade in the Champions League.

    But in recent years there has been a distinct lack of talent rolling off the production line, leading experts to bemoan the Seleção's fall from grace as the likes of Spain and Germany led the way in recent international tournaments.

    However, this is Brazil, and a dip in producing talent was never going to last. Already, it appears that a new generation is preparing to pick up the baton for the Seleção in the coming years.

    This season has already seen the likes of Oscar, Philippe Coutinho and Bernard play starring roles for their respective clubs. But it doesn't end there, as the next wave of Brazilian talent is already preparing to make an impact on world football.

    This slideshow examines Brazil's best youth prospects, all in their teenage years, highlighting their exploits so far and and seeing what the future has in store.

Honourable Mentions

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    This slideshow highlights the very best of Brazilian football, and as always there are talented players who just fell short of being included.

    The players listed below are all extremely talented players and have an excellent chance of succeeding in Brazil or abroad, but for one reason or another didn't quite make it into the final list.

    Wallace (Fluminense) - Another Brazilian heading for Premier League, 19-year-old Wallace will be joining Chelsea this summer after the Blues announced the signing of the right-back back in December 2012. (Chelsea FC)

    Having broken into Fluminense's first-team plans on the way to winning the 2012 Brasileirão, Wallace is one to keep an eye on but his progression will likely be slowed with a season or two in Chelsea's U21s side and we may not see the best of the right-back for some time.

    Mattheus (Flamengo) - A move to Juventus may have collapsed recently over issues of a transfer fee but there's no doubt that Bebeto's son Mattheus is another big talent awaiting a move to Europe.

    But pundits and experts believe the 18-year-old would benefit from more time in the Brasileirão and prove his ability in Brazil.

    Reports (Sambafoot) suggest that the Flamengo youngster will opt to stay in Brazil for the time being but the 18-year-old could be making waves in the Brasileirão in the coming years after making his debut in 2012.

    Ademilson (São Paulo) - One of the stars of Brazil's U17 World Cup campaign in Mexico 2011, 19-year-old Ademilson fired the Seleção to the semi-finals with five goals in seven appearances.

    With a full season for São Paulo under his belt, Ademilson looks set to begin the Brasileirão as one of many strikers competing for a role alongside ex-Sevilla star Luís Fabiano.

    Ending the upcoming season as a starter should be the aim for this young forward, with a possible incentive of a move abroad in 2014 should he perform.

Dória (Botafogo)

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    18-year-old centre-back Dória has had a breakout season in 2012 with Brasileirão outfit Botafogo. He completed the season as an established regular, an impressive achievement for one so young.

    The heart of a defence is often a difficult position to break into as a young defender, given that many managers prefer to play more experienced players in such a crucial position.

    Even more impressive, then, that Dória grabbed his chance during an injury crisis, and has never let it go since. He made 18 starts in 2012, most of them at the tender age of 17.

    His physique is also startling for such a young player, standing at 6' 3". His background in Brazilian street game, futsal, means Dória is comfortable carrying the ball out of defence and launching attacks.

    Dória continued at the heart of the Botafogo defence in the 2013 Campeonato Carioca with another eleven appearances. He looks to have cemented a first-team place for the upcoming Brasileirão campaign.

    But due to financial problems at the club, Dória could be one of the first players out of the door this summer (as one of Botafogo's biggest assets) after a move to Juventus collapsed in January. (Sambafoot)

    The youngster faces an uncertain future. However, if he continues his impressive form for the Fogão or for another club, we could see yet the makings of a top class centre-back.

Bruno Gomes (Desportivo Brasil/Manchester United)

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    Bruno Gomes has long been waiting for the confirmation of his move to Manchester United. However, the 17-year-old striker hasn't wasted any time in demonstrating his talent for Desportivo Brasil.

    The centre-forward netted 27 times in 28 appearances on the way to finishing as top scorer in the 2012 São Paulo Under-17 State Championship. That performance has prompted interest from Manchester United scouts. (Futebol Paulista)

    And the scouts will no doubt be even more impressed by the Desportivo Brasil star's form this year after the striker scored 15 times in just 8 appearances for the U17s. The highlight was a seven-goal haul in a 12-0 win against hapless Sumaré.

    A pacy striker with an eye for goals—aided by an excellent sense of positioning—Gomes is following in the footsteps of his idol and former Sevilla forward Luís Fabiano.

    The Brazilian is certainly on the right track to fulfilling his huge potential in the coming years with his performances this season, and it won't be long before he can hone his talents in England.

    An arranged fee is reportedly already in place as part of Manchester United's long-standing agreement with Desportivo Brasil. Reports suggest the deal could be sealed in the summer. (Sambafoot)

    Fans of the Red Devils may well be rubbing their hands with glee if this young starlet continues to fulfill his promising potential over the next few years under David Moyes' tutelage.

Adryan (Flamengo)

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    A talented attacking midfielder, Flamengo's Adryan is another youngster who enjoyed a successful debut season in the 2012 Brasileirão in a cameo role for the Rubro-Negro.

    Adryan follows Brazil's tried-and-tested recipe of creative attackers. He looks set to follow in the footsteps of Oscar and Bernard in becoming one of the Brasileirão's hottest properties in the next few years.

    Flamengo knew they had a stellar talent on their hands after the youngster excelled in Brazil U17's World Cup campaign in Mexico 2011, where the Seleção reached the semi-finals.

    Adryan netted five goals in seven games as Brazil were knocked out by Uruguay, and lost the third-place clash to Germany in a 4-3 thriller.

    During a disappointing campaign for Flamengo, Adryan has enjoyed a succession of cameos from the bench with 23 appearances. He earned only seven starts, although that will more than likely change this season.

    With a successful first season, Adryan looks set to establish himself in Flamengo's first team next season. With a new contract in place, fans will be hoping to see more of the 18-year-old starlet in action. (Sambafoot)

Lucas Piazón (Chelsea)

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    Another attacking midfielder, Chelsea's Lucas Piazón has made great progress in developing his talents this season. He spent six months on loan at Manuel Pellegrini's Málaga after impressing on his debut for the Blues.

    Signed from São Paulo for a potential fee of £8m in June 2011 (Independent), Chelsea put great faith in the youngster's burgeoning talents. Piazón now looks set to fulfil that promise.

    On his Premier League debut, an 11-minute cameo during Chelsea's 8-0 victory over Aston Villa showcased the Brazilian's talents as he terrorised a poor Villans defence.

    With virtually his first touch of the game, he laid on a superb threaded pass for Ramires to slot home. He immediately made an impression on viewers with his close control and passing ability.

    But disappointment was soon to come for the Chelsea starlet as he stepped up to take a penalty in the 89th minute. A sensational save from Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan denied the Brazilian a debut goal.

    However, Piazón's performance would earn him a loan move to Málaga where the 19-year-old featured heavily as an impact substitute in the second-half of their campaign. He made eleven appearances for the Los Boquerones.

    Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, Piazón's future could lie away from Stamford Bridge after admitting he is prepared to look elsewhere for first-team football. This comes as another summer of upheaval looks set to begin with interim manager Rafael Benitez's departure. (Goal.com)

Marquinhos (Roma)

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    One of the biggest surprises of the season, Marquinhos has been nothing short of sensational for Roma since making the switch from hometown club Corinthians in the summer of 2012.

    The 19-year-old settled in with immediate effect, and has become a rock at the heart of the Giallorossi defence as they launched another assault on the Serie A title.

    A lithe and agile defender, who at 5' 11" isn't the tallest of centre-backs, Marquinhos' ability to read the game allows him to defend against even the quickest of strikers.

    Two substitute appearances against Bologna and Juventus in September 2012 impressed Roma coach Zdenek Zeman, so much that he was immediately handed his first start against Atalanta at the end of the month.

    From then on, Marquinhos never looked back as he nailed down a first team place for rest of the season. He made a total of 26 appearances for the club, becoming one of the most promising young defenders on the continent.

    In fact, his meteoric rise has caught the eye of La Liga giants Barcelona, who are looking for a long-term replacement for club captain Carles Puyol. (Football Italia)

    A price tag of £15 million (Metro) has already been slapped on the highly-rated teenager, and this summer could yet be a defining moment in the Brazilian's career.