Real Madrid have made a shrewd signing in Cruzeiro's former defensive-midfielder Lucas Silva.
The young Brazilian is looking increasingly likely to be the replacement for Sami Khedira and in a sign of how well he has settled into his new surroundings, Carlo Ancelotti is ready to hand him a debut at the Vicente Calderon.
It's likely that Silva will take the fixture in his stride. At just 21-years-of-age, he already has more than 50 senior appearances to his credit and in a recent interview, South American expert Tim Vickery noted he was: “Probably the best passing midfielder that Brazilian football has produced in the last few years."
Heady praise indeed, and entirely justified.
An immaculate passing range reminds one of a young Xabi Alonso whilst the box to box nature of his play could be compared to Steven Gerrard in his pomp. It's an intoxicating mix of skills and it has marked him out for greatness for some while now.
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His physical attributes will see him easily deal with the rigours of a tougher league than the Brasileiro, and if any further proof of that were needed, the fact that the Italian will throw him straight in against Atletico Madrid speaks volumes.
Extremely comfortable in possession, Silva's defensive attributes are also worthy of further comment.
To find a defensive-midfielder that barely has a weakness in his all-round game, especially at such a young age, is almost unheard of. Silva himself has been quoted as saying that he models his game on that of Manchester City's Yaya Toure, and when you watch him in action you can perfectly understand the comparison.
He has also just been named in the Brazilian league's team of the season after being an integral part of Cruzeiro's charge to the league title. Despite his excellence at club level, he hasn't been able to acquire full honours at international level at this stage.
Silva to gold
That said, he is an important member of his country's U23 squad and will form part of Brazil's 2016 Olympic team. Some experts suggest that Silva isn't yet the finished article, and they would be right. A bargain transfer fee suggests the same too.
At this stage he still remains a prospect, but with all of the tools in his locker and a propensity to learn, it's only a matter of time before Silva turns to gold at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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