Newcastle United transfer target Andrey Santos has the potential to be better than Brazil legend Juninho Pernambucano. And that is according to the man himself.
The Magpies are being heavily linked with a move for Santos, who is shining for Vasco Da Gama at the tender age of 18-years-old.
Dan Ashworth is looking to tap into the South American market, and it appears that Santos is the club’s number one target.
Santos could prove to be an expensive addition for a player of his age, but it sounds like he will be worth every penny if Juninho’s assessment is correct.
Juninho on Andrey Santos
Santos is currently playing for Vasco, which is where Juninho first made his name. The 47-year-old enjoyed three spells with the Brazilian side, playing more than 200 times for the club.
He is best known for his time at Lyon and his incredible set piece ability. He is arguably the greatest free-kick taker in history.
With 40 caps for Brazil, Juninho knows a thing or two about midfielders. And he previously spoke about Santos back in July and made a big prediction.
“It is difficult to find a player at 18 as ready as he is,” Juninho said earlier this year.
“Physically he is a monster. Without the ball, his participation is total. I even wanted to see his GPS, because he doesn’t stop. And technically he is far above the others.
“He’s not going to be better than me, he’s going to be much better than me. He’s a much more complete player. At 18 I didn’t play half as much as he does, I’m not ashamed to say that.
“I once sent a message to (Carlos Roberto) Osório, vice president of the club. I asked: ‘Do you have any idea what this player is?’. That’s a €40million transfer player at the very least. Of course, due to the club’s situation, sometimes they are not in a position to negotiate. But today he should become the team’s highest earner. To renew his contract, this has to be done. You have to try to convince him to stay. It would be very sad for the fan and for Vasco to lose a player of that level, with that talent.
“When we see him talking, you see that he has a good education. He is simple. When he loses the ball, he behaves well. When he is missed, he behaves well. All these are signs that he is a boy with an awareness of reality.”
Newcastle’s January target sounds incredibly promising
The former midfielder’s comments on Santos are incredibly encouraging. It sounds like he is a player who is destined to go the top.
Juninho was a great player. So the fact that he thinks Santos will be even better than him is very exciting.
As previously stated, Newcastle are reportedly confident that they can bring him to St James’ Park. 90min state that the Magpies want to agree a deal in advance of the January transfer window.
He will be one for the future, but perhaps it won’t take him long to make his Premier League debut – if he does arrive.
Juninho’s comments on Santos’ physicality is probably the most exciting thing, as that can sometimes be an issue for foreign players arriving for England.
There were similar concerns when Bruno Guimaraes, a player Juninho knows well, arrived at Newcastle. But he has proven he can handle the rigours of Premier League football.
Hopefully Santos can adapt in similar fashion, and go on to have the incredible career that Juninho is anticipating. But first things first, let’s get his signing wrapped up.