Summer Transfers: Unknown South Americans Who Could Start on Most European Clubs
The summer transfer window has arrived, bringing with it a wave of speculation, linking players worldwide with moves to Europe's most popular leagues.
It is now a biannual event, with the transfer window system bringing two concentrated periods of intense rumour and speculation that fans feast upon with glee.
Players like Fernando (pictured) emerge from relative obscurity among the European audience to be linked with some of the continent's bigger clubs. Eventually, he sealed a €13 million transfer to ambitious Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk.
Over the next two-and-a-half months, there will be many more. Let's, then, take a look at some other players who could easily slot into many sides across the European spectrum.
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Ecuador defender Frickson Erazo of Barcelona SC has been linked with Premier League side Southampton this year, following a series of commanding performances in World Cup qualification.
Standing at 6'3" tall, and blessed with a considerable frame, Erazo is the rock on which his side base their defensive play. His positional play is sound, and he is rarely beaten in the air.
His name, as the links with English football suggest, is starting to become known, and his every move in recent international fixtures will have been watched by an array of scouts.
The biggest question will be whether he can mentally adapt to what will be very different surroundings, as he undoubtedly has the ability to play at a higher level.
Chile Under-20 international Nicolas Castillo was one of the undoubted stars of the South American championship at that age level this January, and he'll have the chance to repeat that feat at this summer's World Cup.
His role this summer will be affected by the return of centre-forward Angelo Henriquez to the squad, but there is no doubt that Castillo can still make an impact from a more withdrawn role.
A combative but skilled forward, Castillo is a defender's nightmare. His combination of strength, determination and technique make him a real handful, and he already has plenty of experience at first-team level.
He will almost certainly head to Europe in the next 12 months and, following a brief adaptation period, will be ready to walk straight into first-team action.
Argentine centre-back Lisandro Lopez has been tentatively linked with a move to Europe for some time. Now 23 years old, it would appear that the time may finally be right for such a move.
This week, Portuguese newspaper O Jogo linked the player with a move to Benfica, where he would possibly arrive as a replacement for countryman Ezequiel Garay.
Lopez has been playing regular first-team football for four seasons and has picked up a wealth of experience with club side Arsenal di Sarandi—including winning an Argentine league title.
Should he move now, he looks ready to make a smooth transition into a strong European first-team spot, and from there he can aim for even higher levels.
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Santos central midfielder Arouca has been one of the best Brazil can offer in his position for a few years now, and he still does not appear to be particularly close to a European move.
There have been rumours of moves to Serie A in the past, but nothing has ever come to fruition for the box-to-box midfielder. Turning 27 later this summer, it is probably his last chance at a move to one of the Old Continent's bigger sides.
In Arouca, they would find a player coming into his prime, who has already acquired a wealth of experience across three of Brazil's biggest domestic sides.
For a Europa League level side in Italy or Spain, he would be ideal. If the price of his signature wasn't excessive, they could do plenty worse than to turn to the Santos midfielder.
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Argentine forward Ignacio Scocco has been in incredible form since returning home with Newell's Old Boys last summer, scoring 24 goals in 32 league appearances for his side.
Now 28, his form has seen him linked with a return to Europe, with Paolo di Canio's Sunderland having met with his representatives. Those talks, though, would appear to have stalled.
A second striker, or inside forward, Scocco's pace and dribbling ability has the potential to cause problems for any defence, and spells at AEK Athens and Al Ain have shown his ability to succeed outside of South America.
Depending on Newell's demands regarding a potential transfer fee, he could be a great value-for-money acquisition for many European sides.
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At 23 years old, so much more was expected from Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero by this stage in his career, having moved to play football in Mexico with Morelia last summer.
Four years ago, Montero had arrived in Europe with Villarreal but spent the next three years going out on a series of loan spells with little success.
He is, though, wonderfully gifted, and the arrival of regular first-team football in the Liga MX has seen the spritely winger produce some mightily impressive performances.
His performance against highly rated Argentine full-back Gino Peruzzi in a World Cup qualifier earlier this month was outstanding, as he left Peruzzi tied in knots.
Given his potential ability, it can only be hoped that Montero is given another shot at European football in the next couple of years.