Udinese's Brazilian box-to-box midfielder Allan, 22, is one footballer major English Premier League clubs should be targeting in the January transfer window.
WHO IS ALLAN?
Formerly of Vasco da Gama, Allan was a peripheral figure in Ney Franco's victorious 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup Brazilian squad, only playing 118 minutes throughout the tournament.
However, 75 of those minutes did come in the 3-2 final win over Portugal.
He flew under the radar as he didn't play enough minutes to be named an outstanding player by the FIFA technical study group.
Also, his role in the final is largely forgotten.
People only remember Oscar's hat-trick and Portugal pinning all their hopes on Nelson Oliveira, a one-man counter-attack.
A year later, Udinese bought out Allan's €3 million contract at Vasco.
"Allan is an important player as his quality and versatility are rare qualities in football," said then Vasco manager Cristovao Borges in reaction to Allan's departure, via Christopher Atkins at Sambafoot.
"With the economic hardship we go through, it is very difficult to bring in replacements soon."
Coincidentally, Udinese have signed two other Allans in the past decade: Cameroonian right-back Allan Nyom in 2009 and Danish midfielder Allan Gaarde in 2002.
In Allan's first season for Udinese, he was a mainstay in Francesco Guidolin's lineup, making the most league starts for the club (33), leading the team in tackles per game (4.3) and passes per game (48.1).
Past players including David Pizarro, Gokhan Inler, Juan Cuadrado, Kwadwo Asamoah and Sulley Muntari show you how strong Udinese's scouting network is when it comes to signing all-round footballers.
Allan could be better than all the aforementioned players.
WHY ALLAN IS "NOT ONE OUT OF THE BOTTLE"
Allan is a ball winner with exceptional anticipation and is a disruptive presence to an opposing team's buildup play.
Earlier in the season, Allan made seven tackles (two more than Dimitar Berbatov has made this season) during a 3-1 win over Parma.
Opposing players risk getting their leg jarred if they fail to release the ball as soon as Allan rushes in.
The speed at which Allan closes down opponents is freakish.
Even though he tackles with velocity, he won back possession 199 times while conceding 47 free-kicks last season, proving he's an efficient tackler.
|Statistically Comparing Allan to Select Midfielders|
|LEAGUE ONLY||Allan||Aaron Ramsey||Fernandinho||Lucas||Ramires|
|Tackles Per Game||5.9||4.4||2.9||5.4||3.4|
|Tackle Success %||80||85||83||68||84|
|Fouls Per Game||1.1||1.9||2.5||2.1||1.8|
The difference between him and his fellow Brazilian Lucas of Liverpool is that Allan has natural positional awareness.
Lucas is often caught out of position due to his lunge-and-hope nature, hence why his tackling success percentage is so abysmal.
Tackling aside, what makes Allan a distinctive transfer prospect is his propensity to make something happen when he has the ball.
There's a sense of urgency when he's in possession and he constantly evades tackles.
Allan is a more effective dribbler than some of Europe's most esteemed attack-first players, Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben being one of them.
PROJECTING ALLAN'S UPSIDE
Allan has potential for greatness and he has a comparable approach to the game as Arturo Vidal, who's overtaken Andrea Pirlo as Juventus' MVP.
What separates Allan from being in the class of Vidal is the lack of goals and assists.
If you look at how quickly Aaron Ramsey has improved for Arsenal, going from scapegoat to one of Europe's best midfielders this season, you can only assume Allan will be a household name within the next few seasons.
This is why major Premier League clubs should be considering Allan as a transfer target this January.
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