by Tony Attwood
Arsenal confirm the signing of 19-year-old Brazilian forward Marquinhos from São Paulo ⚡
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 13, 2022
Marquinhos (not to be confused with the captain of PSG and Brazil who plays as a defender) has joined Arsenal from the Brazilian club Sao Paulo. He plays on the right wing, or as a centre forward. Comments reported in the media from within Arsenal suggest that he will be eased into the club, playing for the under 23s, and perhaps getting occasional outings in the League Cup and less demanding Europa games.
He has played 22 games in the Brazil top division, and there has been quite a bit of comment in Brazil about the bargain price, said to be caused by a problem with his contract in Brazil.
It is also being argued that Sao Paulo will get a percentage of the transfer fee as and when Arsenal sell him in, but there is no clear evidence of this beyond press speculation.
Vampeta the Brazil pundit and ex-player for the national team called the transfer “absurd” and the general feeling in Brazil seems to be that even at this young age the player is worth €10-15million, if not more. It is an interesting situation given that Arsenal are normally reported as having paid far too much for each player.
The only problem looks as if it will come from internationals where the player has already represented Brazil at youth level. He will undoubtedly be helped (and the deal was probably eased through to its conclusion) by the fact that there are already two Brazilians playing at the club in Gabriel Magalhães and Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal confirmed that “Marquinhos made 33 first team appearances during his time with Sao Paulo and was a part of the squad which won the Compeonato Paulista in 2021. The young forward, who has represented Brazil at under-16 and under-17 levels, will travel to London from Brazil in the coming weeks to join up with his new team mates for pre-season training.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal technical director Edu said, “We’re delighted to have completed the transfer with Sao Paulo, as Marquinhos was a player we had been watching for a while. Marquinhos is reported as having signed a contract with Arsenal until the summer of 2027.
Of course just because he is Brazilian doesn’t mean he’s going to be brilliant. Andre Santos made less of an impact than expected, although he was hindered by injuries but we will surely all remember Gilberto Silva who played for us 170 times.
The fact that we have two young Brazilian players in the squad now does suggest a serious Arsenal presence in Brazil, which could bode well for the future, and has presumably been instituted by Edu who rejoined Arsenal as technical director in 2019, having won the league and the FA Cup twice each with Arsenal as a player.
Certainly, other clubs in the Premier League have been looking to Brazil in recent years as a source of players, with Liverpool having Roberto Firmino, Fabinho and Alisson, while Manchester City have Gabriel Jesus, Ederson, Fernandinho and Kayky.
Although São Paulo’s name is well known in England, they have been having a poor time of it of late, not winning anything in the 2010s – a remarkable underachievement for the club. However with Hernán Crespo in charge they did win the Campeonato Paulista finals, for the first time since 2005. Even then however Crespo was sacked halfway through the next season. With such demands for constant success there will always be turmoil if the club doesn’t achieve it, meaning that players will become available. Hence the value of the Edu connection, and I would guess, the revitalised scouting network we now have in Brazil.
The video below has some footage of him (sorry about the background music).
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