A skirmish is in danger of breaking out at the top of the Premier League with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United tracking Corinthians sensation Malcolm.
The 17-year-old is hotly tipped for superstardom in his homeland and any prospective suitor will have to shell out a reported £20m to acquire his services.
He boasts a rather humdrum strike rate of two goals in 20 Brasileirao appearances this team, though his stationing on the right of midfield for the bulk of the campaign could account for this.
Able to play on either flank, in a number ten berth or as a solo line-leader, the youngster’s versatility is impressive, but what is most striking about the Brazilian is his name.
It appears the glamorously christened talents exported from the land of joga bonito – the Bebetos, Romarios, Rivaldos and Juninhos that captivated in the 90’s and early 00’s – have made way for a new generation whose monikers could feasibly have been derived from bridge night down the local legionnaires club.
Here’s an XI of Brazilian stars with names you’d typically hear called out in a retirement home, not by a stadium announcer.
Some of the stars in this lineup are already household names for reasons right and wrong – Fred and Jo were the pair who made such a hash of spearheading Brazil’s attack at the previous World Cup, a tournament, which Bernard was also involved in.
Oscar dazzles Premier League defences on a daily basis for Chelsea, while Alex was a staple in the Blues’ backline up until 2012.
The rest of the gang, however, may need some introduction.
Walter is the short-sighted second-string goalkeeper at Corinthians whose biggest weakness according to whoscored.com is dealing with long shots.
Wallace is a youngster Chelsea have out on loan at Vitesse in the Eredivisie, where Dynamo Moscow’s Douglas made his name at Twente.
Corinthians tackling machine Ralf anchors a midfield, paired with Santos’ Alison to make a ferocious twosome. Between them the pair average 6.4 tackles per match.