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Gabriel Barbosa, better known as “Gabigol”, is the latest exciting young talent to emerge from the Brazilian league.
The 20 year-old centre forward spent most of his professional playing career at Santos, who also provided us with arguably one of the best Brazilian talents ever, Neymar.
In fact, he is so heavily rated by the media, he is even being dubbed the “next” Neymar, and by some, the next R9.
But will he live up to this hype? Here’s my view on the young striker.
Gabigol recently completed a €28 million move across the Atlantic to Serie A giants Inter Milan, who have also signed the likes of Joao Mario, who impressed greatly during his EURO 2016 campaign with Portugal, Ever Banega, and one of Italy’s most talented wingers, Antonio Candreva.
The club has been successful in terms of strengthening their overall squad, and adding depth to a team facing a long season including UEFA Europa League football.
However, Inter are yet to win this season, after losing to Chievo in their season opener, and drawing Palermo 1-1 last weekend.
It is possible that the team will need time to click under new coach Frank De Boer, but will have to get going soon or they will find themselves too far behind their rivals too early in the season.
Essentially, what I’m saying is there is a lot of pressure on Gabigol to hit the ground running and show that he can score goals, something the Milan outfit are struggling to do at the moment, and prove to Inter and their fans that he is worth his price tag.
The young Brazilian striker scored only 24 goals in 82 appearances for Santos over three seasons, and only two goals for the Brazil senior national team.
Gabigol also participated in the Olympics this past summer, earning a gold medal for his nation in men’s football.
The nations were teams made up entirely of young players of the Under-23 age bracket, with an allowance of only three players of an older age.
Neymar being one of those players for Brazil. Gabigol did win the Olympics, however he did not exactly contribute to the cause.
He only scored two goals, and overall in my humble opinion, did not look like the “next Neymar”, or a 28 million Euro striker.
I am very critical of this particular young player because I feel he has not done enough to be rated as high as he is, and just does not have the amount of big game experience required to be an instant impact.
However, Gabigol is young with loads of room to grow and he has a good chance of getting lots of playing time at the Nerazzurri since they have a lot of football to play this season and captain Mauro Icardi will surely require rest.
There is a good possibility of him proving me wrong in the future, and showing us all that he is in fact worth all the hype.
Written by JP Iannuzzi
Follow JP on Twitter @Iannuzzi_Calcio
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