Manuel Veth –
It is a typical tournament phenomenon. Be it the World Cup, the European Championships, Africa Cup or Copa America. There is always one player that will emerge as a star and genuine transfer target. This summer at the Copa America that star is Éverton Sousa Soares.
The 23-year-old left-winger/forward from Grêmio has dazzled at times at the Copa America in Brazil this summer. Two goals and one assist in five games, flashy runs down the wing and a typical Brazilian flair have people talking.
As a result, there will be a significant amount of attention paid to the winger when Brazil play Peru in the final on Sunday. In fact, with Brazil facing Peru in the final, there is a good chance that Éverton could be part of a squad that could win the first title for Brazil since the country won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013.
With longshot Peru reaching the final against host Brazil, the odds don’t offer much value for those wanting to back the Seleção says Paruk from SBD. Brazil is -335 to win within 90 minutes and a staggering -700 to lift the trophy. While Peru did stun Brazil (1-0) back at the 2016 Copa, that match was in the US, and it was the only time Peru has beaten Brazil in the last 34 years (1-6-12 in that span).
Seeking revenge against Peru will, therefore, be one factor. But Éverton will care very little about that particular result or the disappointing World Cup last summer. The winger, after all, was brought in by national team head coach Tite as part of a rebuild following last summer’s tournament.
Making his debut against the United States in September 2018 Éverton has managed 11 appearances for his country since. But it was not until the Copa America that he finally scored his first goal. Coming on with nine minutes left on the clock in the first group stage match against Bolivia he scored Brazil’s third and final goal of the match.
Then against Venezuela, he came on once again late. Although he played well he could not contribute significantly to get Brazil the victory as Venezuela held the Seleção to a 0-0 draw. Then came the performance against Peru on matchday 3, Éverton was on fire in Brazil’s 5-0 win scoring a goal and one assist.
It is that performance, in particular, that will give Brazil hope ahead of the final. Meanwhile, Éverton’s teammates have also highlighted his performance as being fundamental for the team’s succes. “Everton is ready to play in Europe,” defender Felipe Luis said to the Guardian.
Meanwhile, back in Porto Alegre, the scouts were not surprised by his success at the tournament. Signed by the club in 2012 the club were impressed with what they had uncovered in the small winger hailing from Maracanaú.
“We saw his potential,” said Francesco Barletta, the coordinator of the Grêmio youth academy to the Guardian. “What caught our attention was his speed and his aggression – his ability to decide games. He had a lot of attitudes and was good technically.”
Since then he has developed even further, and thanks to the tournament has been linked with a move to Bayern München, who are in desperate need for a new winger, and Paris Saint-Germain where he could replace Neymar.
Under contract until 2022, Éverton has a transfer value of €20 million and would, therefore, be an expensive signing for any club interested. But it could be a risk worth taking as the winger brings some interesting skills to the table.
A natural dribbler Éverton managed to complete 65% of his on average 10.72 dribbles per 90 minutes. A rate that was even higher at the Copa America this summer where he leads the tournament with 49 dribbles ahead of Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Furthermore, no player was involved in more dribbles per 90 minutes than Éverton (15.47) and only his teammate Dani Alves had a higher success rate with 92% completed dribbles than the Little Onion, who managed to complete 73.47% of his dribbles.
It is not just dribbles; however, were Éverton stands out. The winger is also dangerous in the box and had 4.42 touches in the box per 90 minutes — the fourth most in the tournament behind Luis Suarez (5.91), Gabriel Jesus (5.21) and Roberto Firmino (4.71).
Hence, Éverton is a flashy winger that likes to penetrate deep into the attacking half. The sort of player a club like Bayern have been trying to identify for some time but have failed, thus far, to sign.
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.