Five Brazilian starlets top Premiership teams will be paying attention to

Coutinho is just one of a new breed of classy Brazilian footballersMany Brazilian footballers receive ageless adoration from fans across the globe. Such is their iconic status; every generation will remember the players that they grew up with, whether it is Pele in the ’60s, Zico in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Romario in the ‘90s, Ronaldinho in the 2000s or the current emerging talent in 2011.

There is still a wealth of young Brazilian talent ready to be developed, and here are five players that should be on every Premiership teams’ shortlist.

Neymar, who needs no introduction despite being at the young age of nineteen, has already been linked to European giants Real Madrid, as well as Chelsea and Manchester United – and it is not hard to see why.

Neymar has netted 28 goals in 69 appearances for current club Santos and his international record already speaks for itself: scoring 10 goals in 10 appearances at U17 and U20 level, as well as 3 goals in 3 games for the full national team. His ability has shone through, most recently against Brazil’s 2-0 win over Scotland, in which Neymar scored both goals, showing great composure at such a young age. Santos clearly value the youngster, slapping a £31.5 million price tag on the player, who is under contract until 2014.

Neymar is tipped to move away from Brazil in the summer, with his agent stating, “”He wants to become the best player in the world. The chances of him doing that while playing in Brazil are zero.”

Lucas Piazón, branded the ‘next Kaka’ has already agreed to sign for Chelsea in January 2012, in a move worth £6-8 million. Like Kaka, this 18 year old attacking midfielder developed his early talent in Sao Paolo, also his current club. Piazón already has some highly regarded accolades, becoming top scorer in the 2009 Under 15 South American Championship, netting 10 goals. He scored twice in three games in Ecuador and a winning goal against Venezuela. Chelsea’s interest in Piazón was alerted by Dutch scout Pete de Visser, and with Juventus also believed to be keen, Abramovich has moved quickly to wrap up the deal as the investment in new talent is set to continue at Chelsea.

Midfield prodigy Philippe Coutinho, 18, is a player who is already establishing himself in Serie A with Inter Milan. Premier League side Tottenham have already experienced his talent on the ball, as he set up Eto’o with a goal during Inter’s 4-3 victory over Spurs in the Champions League. Inter signed him in 2008 for €3.8 million and he has already appeared 17 times for his club. However, with strong competition for places, we may well witness his talent on English soil next season.

Lulinha, 20, is another midfielder that will soon break onto the big stage. The young Brazilian plays as an attacking midfielder or striker, and possesses an incredible collection of tricks and flicks, defence-splitting through balls and confident finishing. He has gained recognition whilst helping the Brazilian national team to win the 2007 U-17 South-American Championship, scoring 12 goals in 7 matches. Subsequently, Corinthians placed a £24 million price tag on Lulinha, to ward off interest from Chelsea and Manchester United.

21 year old striker Walter attracted the attention of Manchester United after becoming the top scorer in the under 20 South American cup with 5 goals. In August 2010, he left for Portuguese giants Porto for £5 million and signed a 5-year contract, after impressing at Internacional, scoring 3 goals in 17 appearances.

The prospects for players coming up through the Brazil youth system are great. With the talent already seen in many, the Premier League will have a great choice of players to develop and hopefully these players will mould into the iconic players we enjoy watching today.

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