Brazilian Serie A Five Players to Watch
With the Brazilian Serie A season fast approaching, the Infogol Analyst picks out five players to watch out for in the 2017 season.
Name: Luis Ricardo Alves
Last Season: Scored 12 goals in Brazil Serie A for Botafogo, helping them to a fifth placed finish.
Minutes were hard to come by for Sassá last season, going from an impact sub early in the campaign to earning a starting place in the team only to be regularly subbed off early. It is impressive that he managed 12 goals (including four penalties) having played just 1422 minutes. Sassá ended the season with the highest non penalty expected goals per 90mins of anyone in the league and is expected to become a fully-fledged first team regular this time around – scoring plenty of goals in the process.
2. Miguel Borja
Name: Miguel Angel Borja Hernandez
Nickname: Miguel Borja
Last Season: Played for Atletico Nacional in Colombia, scoring 11 in 14 continental matches.
The Colombian International Miguel Borja joined Palmeiras for an undisclosed fee after a successful season with Atletico Nacional. Borja scored 5 times in 4 matches (semi-finals vs Sao Paulo and finals vs Independiente del Valle) to help his side win the Copa Libertadores and, later that season, played a key role in getting them to the final of the Copa Sudamericana. No doubt he is a great acquisition by the reigning Serie A Champions, and he is expected to be among the goals this term.
3. Lucas Pratto
Name: Lucas David Pratto
Nickname: Lucas Pratto
Team: Sao Paulo
Last Season: Scored 5 goals for Atletico Mineiro, juggling Serie A with international call-ups.
Although last season’s tally of five goals may seem low, Lucas Pratto was unlucky with playing time, getting on the field for just 1199 minutes over the season. He was unused in the early parts, but became a fixture of Atletico Mineiro’s team towards the end of the season, impressing the Argentinian National team manager on the way and getting selected for International duty – which also reduced his playing time for his club. Pratto’s pre-season form has been promising for new club Sao Paulo and, with more playing time, he could be one to keep an eye on.
4. Vitor Bueno
Name: Vitor Frezarin Bueno
Nickname: Vitor Bueno
Last Season: Voted Serie A Best Newcomer after a successful campaign in which he helped Santos achieve a second place finish.
The young attacking midfielder Vitor Bueno hit ten goals in his first full campaign as a professional, helping him scoop the Best Newcomer award. He averaged 0.26 non penalty expected goals per 90 minutes last season, which, for an attacking midfielder is very impressive and even more so when taken into account that it was his first full season. More is expected from the young play-maker.
5. Henrique Dourado
Name: Jose Henrique da Silva Dourado
Nickname: Henrique Dourado
Last Season: On loan at Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes, scoring 12 goals and helping them achieve a top half finish.
Dourado has been a journeyman for most of his career, with parent club Mirassol loaning the striker out every season. He has already played for Santos, Palmeiras and Cruzeiro from Serie A, but now finds himself with a new challenge at Fluminense. As stated in the ‘Season Preview’ (hyperlink) article, Fluminense created a lot of chances last season but failed to take them. If they create at the same rate this term, Dourado could find himself in the goals.