Ranking the 5 Best Transfers of Brazil Players in the 2014 Summer Window
There was no Neymar, no Lucas Moura and no Oscar available for transfer this summer. Instead, it was a market dominated by the sale of those who fly somewhat under the radar (including the bemusing move of right-back Douglas to Barcelona).
Reuters' Andrew Downie, via Yahoo.com, reported on how the summer window represented a major downturn for the Brazilian market, with renowned columnist Paulo Vinicius Coelho quoted as saying: "This is the worst market in the last 30 years for Brazilian clubs."
However, in among the lack of superstars and relative paucity of talent in the Brazilian domestic game there were bargains to be had on the country's players as financial realities bite hard.
Which, then, were the top five transfers involving Brazilian players this summer?
5. Lucas Evangelista (Desportivo Brasil to Udinese)
Versatile midfielder Lucas Evangelista has played anywhere from No. 10 to left-back for Sao Paulo in his senior career to date and now becomes the latest clever pickup in Udinese's wide-ranging recruitment policy.
Per Transfermarkt.com figures, the Brazil under-20 international moves to the Italian side for a measly fee of €4 million, having been involved in a wrangle between owning parties Desportivo Brasil and Sao Paulo.
Udinese have a group of talented young Brazilians at various stages of their development and former Manchester United interest Lucas is among the most talented. Down the line, it would be little surprise if Udinese secure a large profit on his services given his bargain transfer fee.
4. Sandro (Tottenham to QPR)
QPR took a major step toward being equipped for Premier League survival on deadline day with the £10 million capture of Tottenham midfielder Sandro.
Manager Harry Redknapp was responsible for bringing the Brazilian to England in 2010 and now reunites with his former charge in differing circumstances, with the former Internacional player having failed to recover his starting berth since a major knee injury 18 months ago.
At his best, though, Sandro is a disruptive midfield presence that can provide a platform for a team to excel. As if to demonstrate his importance, Andre Villas-Boas' Spurs never recovered from his injury having threatened to challenge at the top of the Premier League in the 2012-13 season.
3. Cleber (Corinthians to HSV)
A €3 million fee, per Transfermarkt.com, represents incredible business for a 23-year-old that has not only been one of the Brasileirao's better defenders over the past two years but who is also consistently improving.
Alongside recent Brazil call-up Gil, Cleber provided Corinthians with a stable platform in a league where defences can often be left exposed. While Gil was the brains of the operation, Cleber's physicality offered a nice balance to the pairing.
Comfortable on the ball and a good technical defender, he is well equipped to quickly become a fixture for the Bundesliga side. If he can adapt to life in Germany, it should be just another step in what is a very promising career.
2. Doria (Botafogo to Marseille)
Brazil under-20 captain Doria has long been recognised as one of the outstanding talents in the Brasileirao, having broken into and remained in the Botafogo side from the age of 18.
Transfermarkt.com report his transfer to Marseille on the final day of the window as being worth €5 million, which looks terrific value when considering that Marquinhos, the man considered to be his long-term partner in the Brazil defence, moved to PSG for over €30 million last summer. Most, including Downie's report, place the deal at closer to €10 million.
Doria is a strong physical presence and is comfortable bringing the ball out from defence. Being left-footed, he also offers balance to any defence looking for a right-left partnership. He has weaknesses, notably in his decision making, but at 19 he has plenty of time to correct those faults under coach Marcelo Bielsa.
1. Otavio (Internacional to Porto)
Another to move on deadline day, Internacional's diminutive forward Otavio arrived at Porto for a fee of around €7 million, according to Sambafoot.com's Luca Persico.
Otavio has fallen out of the Internacional starting line-up of late, but the 19-year-old's talent has been clear from day one. He is far from the complete article, but the potential for profit on his relatively small transfer fee is enormous.
The left-footed second striker or attacking midfielder has bags of pace, excellent dribbling skills and an eye for goal. If he can start to bring together those abilities and play with his head up, his potential is enormous.
Porto, once more, have secured an excellent talent at a more than reasonable price. By now, nobody should be surprised.