Alex Teixeira is currently playing football in Ukraine for Shakhtar Donetsk and has 86 goals and 26 assists from nearly six years and 220 appearances at the club - a fair statistic.
This stat changes from fair to very impressive when explained that 45 goals and 9 assists have been reached over the course of last season and the 23 games of this campaign.
The Brazilian’s Breakout Season
The 25-year-old joined Shakhtar from his home country in January 2010, earning his previous club Vasco a fee of around £4.2 million.
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During his early years in Donetsk, he heavily featured for the Ukrainian Premier League side and improved with each passing season.
In his first season, he only made three brief appearances but then played 117 games over the next three campaigns. The Brazilian went from being involved in ten goals to 14, to 20 in his second, third and fourth year respectively in Europe.
Then came 2013/14, when it looked as though Teixeira had hit his peak and would now level out into an average midfielder. He was involved in 14 goals in 40 appearances for Shakhtar and finished as the club’s third top goal scorer, behind ex-Arsenal striker Eduardo and Luiz Adriano.
But this was merely the calm before the storm. In the 2014/15 season, Eduardo left Shakhtar after he scored 21 goals in the previous campaign. So Teixeira stepped up to the plate. Whilst remaining in his attacking midfield role, the Brazilian smashed in 22 goals and set up four more.
Teixeira’s still on the Rise
Such a brilliant season did not escape the crosshairs of some of European’s top clubs and it was speculated that Chelsea were preparing a move over this summer’s transfer window.
Speaking to Globo Esporte, as per the Evening Standard, Teixeira spoke of the rumours surrounding his potential transfer:
"It's all rumours so far.
"I'm glad to hear a club as big as Chelsea is interested in me.
"It would be important to play a tournament such as the Premier League, and better yet if it came in January. I'm welcoming a new challenge."
He remained in Ukraine despite top clubs chasing his signature, but Shakhtar Donetsk lost Luiz Adriano to AC Milan, who was their most influential player from the previous season, with 21 goals and 13 assists.
Shakhtar did re-sign Eduardo in the summer, following the departure of Adriano, to provide another striking option meanwhile, Teixeira kept his attacking midfield role heading into the new season.
Obviously clubs were very cautious about splashing out on a player who has really only had one stellar season in the Ukrainian league, but Teixeira has already surpassed his record from last season.
After 23 games, the Brazilian sniper has 23 goals and 5 assists - the man has been a wrecking machine this season.
His goals on their own have earned his club 12 points so far: he scored both goals in Shakhtar’s 2-0 wins over FK Oleksandria, Metalurg Zaporizhya and Chornomorets Odessa. Teixeira also got the equaliser and the game-winning goal in their 3-2 victory over local rivals Olimpik Donetsk.
Then there’s the brace against Real Madrid in the Champions League, where Los Blancos edged out the Ukrainian side 4-3.
Teixeira to the Prem?
Chelsea seem the obvious team to target Teixeira, they desperately need an in-form flair player to kick them into gear. His confidence is sky-high and he’s scoring for fun, Jose Mourinho desperately needs a player like him to keep his European qualification hopes alive.
Despite challenging at the top of the Premier League, Manchester United really need some goals and creativity injected into their team.
Louis van Gaal seems adamant to sticking to his 'boring' 4-2-3-1 formation and playing Wayne Rooney in midfield, which is helping no-one, but pulling Teixeira into that attacking midfield role could do them the world of good. He’d score goals, terrorise defences, and free up space for Anthony Martial at the top of the formation.
This would all but eradicate the United captain’s role in the squad unless he and Martial were to rotate each game, which would hinder the talented youngster’s development, but Teixeira would bring goals.
Really, the bottom line is that Van Gaal needs to change the formation to suit the players he has instead of forcing them into fitting his dreary system. As he’s so stubborn it might be best to get Teixeira in to inject some goals.
Manchester City, Arsenal and Spurs all have very productive attack-mids and decent depth in that position so would be unlikely to compete for the on-fire Brazilian, unless they wanted to steal him away.
Alex Teixeira is one of the hottest footballers in the world right now and has proven to be more than just a one-season wonder. He should be the target of Europe’s elite league leaders and there will certainly be interest when January comes around.
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