If Chelsea fans hadn’t heard of Sporting Lisbon’s latest wonderkid Bruma before this week, they most certainly have now, with the 18-year-old being tipped as the next youngster to be arriving at Stamford Bridge in the near future.
The story initially broke in The Sunday Times (access via a paywall) on June 30 and since then, rumors of a £12 million bid have surfaced in Metro, while Sky Sports is reporting the youngster is considering his options in Portugal after learning of Chelsea’s interest.
That’s the news out of the way, but what of Bruma the player? Bleacher Report digs a little deeper to bring you all you need to know.
Who Is He?
Dubbed the new Cristiano Ronaldo, Armindo Tué Na Bangna (his full name), is the hottest new arrival on the scene in Portugal.
He burst onto the scene with Sporting Lisbon in the second half of last season, making his debut in February, having impressed for the club’s B team.
Since then, he has become a regular face in and around the first-team squad, causing all sorts of issues for defenders whenever he has played.
Other than Chelsea’s reported interest in bringing him to Stamford Bridge, he has another link with the club in that his brother Mesca (full name: Buomesca Tue Na Bangna) spent a period in the Blues’ youth ranks.
Mesca left for Fulham in 2011 and Chelsea’s West London neighbors have high hopes where he is concerned, with the 19-year-old signing a new three-year contract in April, as reported on Fulham’s official website.
There’s a reason Bruma is already being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo. Not only has he come through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon like his compatriot, but he has much of the same raw talent the current Real Madrid star demonstrated in his earlier days.
Bruma has electrifying pace, allowing him to glide beyond his opponents with ease. But not only that, with his quick feet and lightening acceleration he's able to beat his man one-on-one.
When he gets going, this is one 18-year-old who looks hard to stop.
He needs to work on his finishing if he’s to become a major threat, though, with a number of opportunities passing him by in Sporting's senior side. That said, he had an impressive U-20 World Cup, showing the world what he can do and displaying his abilities as a player, but he needs to bring that to the big leagues if he is to be taken seriously.
Bruma has already demonstrated he can pick out a pass and last season was involved in some excellent attacking plays for his club.
He made eight appearances in the Sporting first team last season, scoring once.
U-20 World Cup
Portugal may have crashed out of the U-20 World Cup in Turkey at the quarterfinal stage this summer, but Bruma’s performances for his country are what have really captured the imagination.
In his three appearances, Bruma scored five goals and also bagged himself two assists.
Portugal may not have won the competition, but Bruma’s displays have certainly won the hearts of football fans.
Should Chelsea Buy Him?
On the surface, Bruma looks like a real talent and a player set to turn heads in the future as his career develops. That Chelsea could potentially sign a player whose value could reach that of his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo—who cost Real Madrid £80 million in 2009—for as low as £12 million is a tempting prospect, but at present he’s merely potential, and that’s what Chelsea would be buying.
We’ve seen the "new" Ronaldo or Lionel Messi arrive on the scene many times before only for it to be another false dawn, and Bruma is no different at this stage of his career. He must prove he has longevity.
When hearing of Chelsea’s interest, Sky Sports quoted Bruma as saying: "I will talk with my lawyer when I arrive in Lisbon to see what he has to tell me.
"I am calm. I want to keep working and growing as a player."
If that’s the case, he shouldn’t consider Chelsea just yet—or any other major club in Europe for that matter.
Bruma has first-team opportunities at Sporting and regardless of silverware or money, that will no doubt come in his career. He should remain in his homeland and chase experience rather than a fortune.
Make up your own mind on Bruma from this YouTube highlight reel.
Can he become the next Cristiano Ronaldo? Let us know in the comments section below or via Twitter @garryhayes.