Emerson Aparecido Leite De Souza is yet another exciting prospect to come from the conveyor belt of talent that is South America. Though few may have heard of him, he’s closing in on a move to La Liga.
The Brazilian has been scouted, watched and admired by Europe’s elite for months now. Liverpool and Arsenal were both keen on his signature, yet according to MARCA, the defender is on the verge of a joint buy.
Both Real Betis and Barcelona will pay €6 million for Emerson, who is expected to spend 2 seasons with the former before a permanent move to the Blaugrana. But who is the 20 year old from São Paulo? Here’s all you need to know:
Emerson began his career with Ponte Preta, spending 2 years in their youth setup before 2 more years in the senior squad.
He made just 3 appearances in the Campeonato Brasileiro during his time with the side, but played the majority of his football in the Campeonato Paulista, the top professional league in Sao Paulo.
14 appearances in the Paulista do Interior, including the winning goal in the final helped Ponte Preta win their 4th title in 11 years. Emerson’s stock rose immediately and after 25 games in all competitions with Macaca, he joined Atlético Mineiro in April 2018.
Since then, the right back has taken strides forward in his development, playing regularly in the Brazilian top flight and performing well enough to receive interest from Europe’s top leagues. 23 appearances for Mineiro, where the defender was the only positive in a leaky defense that conceded 43 goals.
Style of Play
Despite just 1 goal and 1 assist in the 2018 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, it is quite clear the fullback is dangerous going forward. As shown in the video, he possesses good pace with an excellent delivery either along the ground, or floated across the box.
Emerson’s ability and comfortableness on the ball is also great for a right back. He is great at building up play with a key pass to either assist his teammate or begin an attack. Not to mention, his flick-ons and willingness to play one touch would allow him to seamlessly fit into the Barcelona system.
Not only is Emerson a threat going forward, he carries out his main role of keeping it tight at the back effectively. This season in the Brazilian league, he has averaged 2.3 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game which are fine figures for an attacking fullback. Perhaps the only concern about the Brazilian is his 2.2 fouls per game, but that will be improved upon with more experience.
The video above only shows Emerson’s best moments prior to his move to Mineiro, so he is a better player now than before. For just €12 million initially, he would be a great purchase for both clubs and will only get better with time.
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