We all remember Batigol, don’t we? For those who might be too young to remember, Batigol was the nickname for Gabriel Batistuta one of the most feared strikers during his playing days for Argentine. Cue a few years into the present and we have another such named wonder-kid doing the goal scoring.
Gabigol or Gabriel Barbosa is one such hot talent to come out from Santos, the same club which saw the meteoric rise of Neymar and the player has been likened to the current Barcelona star as well. Arsenal, Barcelona and Liverpool are just a few of the teams who are banging on Santos’ door to get the highly rated 19-year-old but what does he provide to a team?
On the stairway to Europe
He joined the Santos youth setup as an 8-year-old and in 2012 he signed his first professional contract with the club with a buyout clause of 50 million Euros, though he hasn’t left the club yet, he has been doing a lot of goal scoring for someone who is just 19.
Gabigol has scored 41 goals for his club in 119 appearances, this might not be the greatest scoring record, but he is still learning his trade and should only get better with time. The attacker can play along the front three and is already been called as the replacement to Neymar or Suarez if he does move to Barcelona.
Barbosa’s preferred position is on the left wing, this is where he does most of the damage. He might not have the best build, but he can take on the bigger defenders in the league that would be a huge advantage when playing in any European league.
Gabriel has a great turn of pace and is known to play off the last defender, beating him for pace and then taking the ball towards goal. He is blessed with a lot of techniques, something that almost every South American footballer has. Flair and technique is a dangerous combination, something that Gabriel has in abundance.
There is this urgency in him to help the team and often does a bit of the dirty work, tracking back and defending from the front, any manager would love to have such a player in his arsenal. Barbosa isn’t the best at headers though and that is one region of his game play where he would have to work extra hard if he wants to cut it in Europe.
The Brazilian also isn’t the most consistent player out there but again this can be forgiven, after all he is just a 19-year-old and with a bit more coaching that can be eradicated from his game. With a lot of clubs already duking it out to get his signature, the future does seem bright for this attacker.
Gabigol might not have a lot of time on his hands, he would have to make a decision fast and although it seems that he is tailor-made for Barcelona, you wouldn’t be surprised if any of the English clubs steal a march on the Spanish side. Arsenal are a team that have tracked the youngster extensively and he will be a player to watch out for in the future.