Player Profiles: Malcom
Fast paced Brazilian winger scoring goals galore in Ligue 1. Sound familiar? No it’s not Neymar, it’s Malcom.
The Frenchman at 21 years of age has taken the league by storm with 19 goal contributions this season and has become one of the league’s most desired players. His scintillating form has earned the attention of Europe’s most elite clubs. From newly promoted Fulham to Liverpool, Inter and Chelsea, admirers are willing to part with in excess of £40 million to get Bordeaux to release their prized possession. So how has Malcom earned the plaudits he has?
Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira began his career at Corinthians in his youth, breaking into the senior team at just 17 years of age. 5 goals and 4 assists in the 2014/15 season by the Brazilian were instrumental in his side’s 2015 Brazilian League title triumph. His impressive performances at such a young age were likened to that of Neymar and he inevitably had suitors from Europe. In the end, Bordeaux signed him for an undisclosed fee in January 2016.
1 goal and 1 assist in 12 games in 2015/16 was nothing exceptional for the highly rated youngster. He was evidently finding his feet in the league for his first 6 months in France. 7 goals and 4 assists in the following season was a significant improvement for Malcom, a sign of better things to come. 2017/18 was where he truly set the world alight. 12 goals and 7 assists,(despite the fact he tailed off a bit towards the end of the season) received much praise and attention. Now for the future, the boy from Brazil has many options at his disposal.
Common with Brazilians, Malcom is a skillful dribbler, capable of playing in central attacking midfield alongside his preferred position on the wing. He is a competent shooter from distance yet also a quality crosser of the ball. Alongside his blistering pace and technical ability, Malcom is hard to push off the ball, demonstrating fantastic hold up play for a 5ft 7 inches winger. Not to mention, he is a set piece specialist shown by his strikes against Nancy and St Etienne this season.
With top clubs interested in the 21 year old, Malcom will have to consider his options carefully. Moving to a large club like Liverpool will increase his chance of winning trophies, yet moving to Fulham will almost guarantee first team football, crucial for his development. Whether he chooses success over play time is dependent on his ambitions, yet clubs will also have to be careful too. Players from the French league have notoriously arrived to bigger and better leagues with large promise yet failed to deliver the output expected. Regardless, Malcom is a clearly talented and exciting youngster. Fans across Europe eagerly anticipate his next move and only time will tell if we are looking at the next Neymar or the next Robinho.