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July 23 2024 8.34am

Potential transfers from Copa America analysis

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Group A

To even think about transferring a player from this squad is madness. Brazil has always had and probably always will have players sought by numerous clubs. This squad's home based attacking player, 23 year old Everton, will surely get a transfer to a top team in Europe and a bidding war for him would be pointless. Other players in the squad are all worth from 40 million up. 30 year old right back Fagner could be available for a club of Palace's level, but I don't recommend him. I'd rather take Brazilian right back Rafael, younger too, free agent after Olympique Lyon (where he was a starter), with Portuguese citizenship too, unlike Fagner, who I don;t even know if qualifies, as he hasn;t played 25% of the national team's matches in the last 2 years.

First 11: Alisson- Dani Alves, Marquinos, Thiago Silva, Filipe Luis/Alex Sandro- Casemiro/Allan, Arthur/Fernandinho- G. Jesus/D. Neres, Coutinho, Richarlison/Everton- Firmino.

The ones who didn't make the squad are injured Neymar, Lucas Moura of Tottenham, Vinicius of Real Madrid, Felipe Anderson of West Ham (bought last summer for 40 million), among others.

There aren't really many players who didn't make the squad that I can recommend for a level as the PL. First of all, they need to have a number of matches played for the national team. I like Otavio from Porto for example, but he hasn;t yet been capped and wouldn;t get a work permit in the PL. Also, he costs a lot of money too!!

There is one though....Matheus Pereira from Sporting Lisbon is supposedly available for just 9 million, but they'd surely accept 7-8. Turned 23 years old in May. He has been loaned to different teams in Portugal by Sporting and last year was loaned in the Bundesliga to Nuremberg. Probably the poorest team in the league, it was hard for him to express himself when they were always attacked and defending, but he was one of the few bright lights of the team. I don't know why Sporting won't promote him to their first team, he is definitely material for them. They had Bruno Fernandes, winger Diaby brought from Brugge, Raphinha and Jovane Cabral last year behind the center forward, with all of them being worth over 10-15 million. This year they have Bruno heading out and Luciano Vietto of Atletico Madrid coming in. Butt, in my opinion, Matheus Pereira is just as good, if not better, than any of these guys. You could win a real gem with him in the PL, even more than with Richarlison. Left footed, the good thing is that he has Portuguese citizenship too.

Pretty much only home grown players. I don't know much about the Bolivian league, but I do know that it's considered one of the poorest in South America. Their star forward, Marcelo Moreno, plays in China, but is kind of old by now. Naturally, they didn't keep up in the tournament.

It was also considered one of th epoor South American squads, but things have actually changed in recent years. They have good generations coming through, like the one which played the final of the U20 World Cup 2 years ago and was narrowly defeated 1-0 by England. Some players from that age group are in the Venezuela national team now (diminutive winger Yefferson Soteldo playing in Brazil and Jefferson Savarino playing in the MLS, contract only until December and central midfielder Yangel Herrera of Alaves).

Together with some older players like Salomon Rondon (who has had a great season in the PL for Newcastle-given the expectations-) and Josef Martinez, the best striker and top scorer in the MLS and a former good player in the Italian Serie A, with Darwin Machis, a very strong and skillful winger who moves between Spain and Italy and played for Granada or Udinese, they make a pretty good national team.

First 11: Farinez, Hernandez, Chancellor, Mago, Rosales (Malaga)- Herrera (Alaves), J. Moreno, Rincon (Serie A)- Murrillo (Portugal)/ Savarino (MLS), Rondon (Newcastle)/ J. Martinez (MLS), D. Machis (Udinese)/ Soteldo (Brazil).

Let's analyse this team for a bit. The play with 3 central midfielders and only one center forward on top (Rondon). Really unjust towards Martinez, who is one of the best South American strikers. There was a time when they played together at the national team, but I think because of the tough opponents, like Brazil and Argentina, the manager decided to play a lone striker. The wingers are all very good. 4 wingers who are not average. Savarino and Soteldo are just 21, they're very quick and have a very bright future. If for Soteldo, things are complicated, as he has a contract until 2022 with Santos and they'd probably ask for more than 7 million for a transfer and he's also very, very diminutive (which could be a problem in the PL), the other young winger, Jefferson Savarino is small, but not THAT small, he is very fit and strong and would easily dribble in the Premier League. He only has 5 more months contract with his American team (they usually end contracts in December there) and you can get him for free!! He'd jump at the opportunity to play in the Premier League. I think he has played more than 50% of his national team's matches in the last year, so he'd qualify for a work permit. Venezuela is in the FIFA World Rankings in the Top 50 as far as I recall. You could even loan him out to the Championship for 1 year and he'd come back very strong. 16 goals and 18 assists in 5900 minutes in the MLS by the age of 22, 1 goal and 2 assists for the national team in 400 minutes.

National team manager played Murrillo a lot as starter, a winger from Portugal, who also played a little in Turkey on loan. He is a good player, not old at 24, and offers maybe a bit more than Savarino or Soteldo AT THE MOMENT. But the future belongs to those younger ones.

Machis is also a players who definitely deserves a transfer to a good team. He rocked the Spanish second division last year, with 13 goals and 6 assists for Granada from wing position. He went to the Serie A to play for Udinese this year, but did not really adapt. Udinese just wasn't a good fit for him with their defensive football or he wasn;t given enough chances, even though he was probably the second best player there after Argentine Rodrigo de Paul. But he only scored 1 in 600 minutes in the Serie A, before coming back to Spain, where he scored 8 and assisted 1 in 1200 minutes for Cadiz. They don;t have the money to buy him, so Udinese is supposedly searching for someone to pay 5 million for him. And he is worth it! I'm telling you, he could and will make it in any league if he is given a run of matches. He's fit, he has the skills, he has speed, everything. It is not a big price for what he offers. 26 years old, scored 2 goals in the Copa America Tournament.

Josef Martinez would also be a great addition to the Palace strikers, but Atlanta will probably ask a similar fee for him as that which Newcastle paid for Almiron, 20 million+.

Venezuela's approach was good, they conceded no goals in draws with Brazil and Peru. They beat Bolivia 3-1 and advanced to the quarter finals, where they lost to Messi's Argentina after they put up a good fight, with the gk making a big mistake for an Argentine goal late in the game.

Pretty much remains the same squad which managed to qualify to the World Cup last year. Their good generation consists of old forwards Paolo Guerrero and Jefferson Farfan, attacking players Cueva (attacking midfielder who played in Brazil and tried his luck in Europe with Krasnodar, but apparently not convincing enough), winger Andre Carrillo (who played pretty well in the PL with Watford last year, but Benfica demands 15 million for him and loaned him to an Arab team which might have the money), Edison Flores (left footed winger who did good matches for the national team but was unlucky in Europe, playing in the modest Danish league, where he didn't really adapt) and a few other defensive players who are relatively good.

Their passing game is almost, almost, as good as Chile's or Brazil's (the 2 teams with the best passing games in South America). In their World Cup games last year, this team, with pretty much the same starting 11, had 56% possession against France and 52% possession against a Denmark which included players like Christian Eriksen in the group. Really unlucky to lose 1-0 to Denmark, I saw that match, so a good team. Central midfielder Yotun is one that stands out as someone who provides a lot of good grass level passes and changes direction quickly. He'd have been a perfect Cabaye replacement last year at 29. He's still pretty good today at 30, plays in the MLS, but can compete at top level easily, as seen against powerful European teams at the World Cup.

Right back Advincula is a force of nature, incredibly powerful. Not so good offensively, but definitely good for a team fighting off relegation, like the one in Spain he plays for, Rayo Vallecano.
Center back Zambrano is a good defender, I know him from the Bundesliga where he played more than 100 matches for Eintracht Frankfurt before turning 26 years old. He has since gone to Rubin Kazan and Dinamo Kiev to make money, but ended up in Basel. He could be available for a moderate fee. His problem: little gametime in the past year.

First 11: Gallesse- Advincula (Spain), Zambrano (Europe-Basel), Abram, Trauco (Brazil, Flamengo)- Yotun (central), Tapia(defensive)-Carrillo (former Benfica,Watford), Cueva, Polo/Flores- Guerrero (formerly Bundesliga great striker, now old at 35)

Left back Miguel Trauco is just 26 and is finishing his contract with Flamengo in 5 months. He can be signed on a free. He has been a starter for the national team in the last 3 years and has been very good for Flamengo with more than 10 assists from left back position. He is just we need as cover for PVA, good both offensively and solid defensively. At 0 cost. Brazilian league is very good, somewhere at Portuguese league level, definitely above any other South American leagues.

I wouldn't really mind Edison Flores either. This 25 year old fast left footed winger seemed average for Aalborg of Denmark, but he offered more than 10 assists, he's a man for assists rather than goals. Very good for the national team. He wouldn't sky rocket the PL, but he'd be a great squad player. He'd cost just around 2 million, as Mexican team Morelia bought him from Aalborg for 1 million. Mexican league is also very good, same as the MLS, above South American leagues.

Andy Polo, the other winger, is someone the coach likes, but he's not very good. Carrillo is too expensive. There is one more attacking midfielder, very good Benavente, one of the best attacking midfielders in Belgium in the recent years, but the coach and him are not on the same page and he didn;t even get called up for the World Cup, though he's one of the best Peruvian players in the world. Eventually, he went to the Egyptian team Pyramids for a 7 million fee in a massive investment made there by the Egyptian owners and is winning the league there. The level there is similar to a European medium league, as Egypt has one of the best leagues in Africa and is very close to Europe (think something like Championship or Ligue 2 level), but the Peru national team manager ignores him yet again for being “in a low league”.

They had a moderate tournament so far, with a draw against Venezuela, a win against lowly Bolivia, a 5-0 loss to Brazil and a lucky win in the quarter finals against Uruguay, which looked like the better team than them.

Group B

What can I say? A lot of talent, you probably know most of these players. Attacking options are Messi, Aguero, di Maria, Dybala, youngster Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan and surprise call-ups Matias Suarez from River Plate (formerly in Europe at Anderlecht) and Rodrigo de Paul from Udinese. Suarez is already 31 and not PL material, while de Paul is very expensive. Midfield options are highly rated Giovani lo Celso and Pardes, even Roberto Pereyra from Watford (who plays left wing for them and was probably their best player last year in the PL). Defensively, they have Otamendi and left back Tagliafico from Ajax, youngster Foyth from Tottenham, another left back Acuna from Sporting, very quick and powerful.
Main team: Armani- Foyth/Saravia, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico- lo Celso/de Paul, Paredes, Acuna/di Maria- Messi- L. Martinez, Aguero.

Notable absentees are Erik Lamela (who struggled with injuries this season, but is a very good, tall, fast player and with a nice future), Lanzini (also long term injured), Joaquin Correa of Lazio (wonderful player who Sevilla let go for cheap and I would have taken to the Copa America, seems to have settled in Lazio, would cost around 12-15 million), Icardi from Inter due to his behaviour, youngster who made the World Cup squad last year Christian Pavon (on the radar of important clubs), Ever Banega of Sevilla (a great box-to-box player even though has reached 31 years of age, supposedly available for cheap this summer after they missed out on the Champions League, finishing 5th in Spain).

From those, I think Banega would accept to come to Palace, while Joaquin Correa should be someone to keep an eye on. There's also Ocampos from Marseille, he's a good Argentine winger too with a transfer fee below 10 million after Marseille's financial problems.

Great squad, as always, Colombians have attacking options like James Rodriguez, Cuadrado, Falcao, Duvan Zapata (Serie A second top scorer and qualified for the Champions League with Atalanta, a “beast”, incredibly strong) etc.

First 11: Ospina- Arias (Atletico)/Medina, D. Sanchez (Tottenham), Yerri Mina (Everton), Tessillo- Cuadrado (Juventus), Barrios (Zenit), Uribe- J. Rodriguez (Real Madrid?), Zapata (Atalanta)/Falcao (Monaco), Muriel (Atalanta)/R. Martinez (Mexico)

They played Cuadrado in a strange position for him, as a central midfielder, but it was good, the team played well against Argentina. They easily won their group, but lost to former Copa America champions Chile in the quarter finals.

Affordable players would be R. Martinez, who was tested by Villarreal of Spain 1 year ago, but he isn;t actually that much quality and would cost a fortune. They played him as somewhat a wingman at this tournament, but he only plays as center forward at club level. Luis Muriel didn't cost Atalanta a fortune, 13.5 million for a player like him is not a fortune, but he's a striker who mostly assists instead of scoring, not sure if what Palace needs.

Lerma from Bournemouth is a good defensive midfielder, but I doubt they'd sell to a rival. Luiz Diaz is a young winger from Colombia who made his way into this European based players squad, but I am not convinced. He needs to play more. John Lucumi is a good center back of Genk, in the likes of Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina, but he is set to play in the Champions League next season, so I don;t think they'd sell cheap.

Attacking midfielder Edwin Cardona (26) and central midfielder Uribe (28 ) have been playing very well for the national team and are pretty much the only ones left who haven't gotten a transfer to Europe. They could do all right in any league. They both play in Mexico and should be available for around 10 million transfer fees, maybe less.

Cuadrado from Juventus is supposedly available for 20 million. A good player, but not worth that much just because he comes from Juventus. He is 31 years old by now.

Duvan Zapata from Atalanta was available a few years ago for 10-15. Now, after his amazing time in the Serie A, they want 50-60 million for him.

A notable absentee is agile and powerful center forward Carlos Bacca, even though he managed 11 goals and 4 assists in 1900 minutes for Villarreal last season. Kind of old at 32, but still has 2-3 good years left in him and is very fit. At just 7 million from AC Milan, I call that a good buy for Villarreal.

Alfredo Morelos, a very good and hard working striker from Rangers, also missed out on the squad because of Zapata, Falcao and Muriel.

Still very far away from becoming again a great team, Paraguay lives from the success of the '90s generation of Chilavert. They missed the WC Tournament last year, finishing towards the bottom of the South American qualifiers (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Peru made it, Chile was close, after them Paraguay, Venezuela and Ecuador. Bolivia last).

They have some European based players in their squad, like Miguel Almiron of Newcastle, who had impressed in the MLS, but has has a hard time adapting to the PL these last 4 months, tall striker Federico Santander of Bologna, pretty decent in Italy (formerly of FC Copenhagen), mediocre winger Hernan Perez plying his trade in Spain, West Ham center back Balbuena. Oscar Romero, the attacking midfielder from China, had also played in the Spanish La Liga last year, for Alaves, on loan. Old center forward Oscar Cardozo was a known name for Benfica. Derlis Gonzalez, the man who had scored against Brazil and kicked them out of the Copa America 2 years ago, brought to Europe by then Champions League team and then sold to Dynamo Kiev, now in Brazil with Santos, former Serie A sensation or Roma Juan Iturbe, who has gone through some bad times, but appears to be getting back to form in Mexico wih Pumas, Ivan Piris, former right back in the Serie A, Gustavo Gomez, former center back of AC Milan, Celso Ortiz, 30 year old central midfielder formerly of AZ Alkmaar.

24 year old Cecilio Dominguez, used mostly as a backup, is one to keep an eye on. He might develop into a very good player for European football.

First 11: Fernandez- Piris, Gustavo Gomez, Balbuena, Arzamendia- Hernan Perez/Rojas, Ortiz, Sanches, Derlis Gonzalez- Almiron- Cardozo/F.Santander

Derlis Gonzalez has proved once again during the tournament that he is Paraguay's best player. IF he is available for a fee around 7 million, I think he would be a good signing. He is on loan at Santos from Dynamo Kiev. Life in Ukraine wasn't easy. He managed 1 goal and 5 assists in 1200 minutes in Brazil. 12 goals and 15 assists for Dynamo Kiev in 5200 minutes. 6 goals and 10 assists in 2400 minutes for Basel before that, including against Real Madrid and FC Porto in the Champions League. 3 goals in 800 minutes in the last 2 years for the national team. So, he's pretty constant. He could provide a similar performance in the Premier League. Not an amazing player he would make, but a decent PL one, in the style of Redmond or Townsend.

The left back, Arzamendia, is very ofensive and, at just 21, he'd be a great investement for the future. He doesn't cost much, plays in his home country, but has done some great Copa Libertadores matches against teams from Brazil and Uruguay, strong leagues.

Notable absentees are striker Antonio Sanabria, very good and very strong, but injury prone. Taken by Genoa on loan from Betis until 2020 with an option to buy for 20 million, Has done a good first season, for his sake let's hope he doesn;t break his leg again.

Also, I would add Hector Villalba of MLS, a player who I really like, pretty good at his 24 years of age. Unfortunalety, he has only Paraguayan and Argentine citizenships and as long as he doesn't establish himself as a starter for the national team, he can't be trasferred to the PL, because he won't get a work permit.

Lorenzo Melgarejo is another notable absentee, a player ignored for years by the Paraguayan coaches. He hads been constantly good in the Russian league for Spartak and in European competitions. But he's basically exactly like Jeffrey Schlupp, a left back capable of playing left midfielder or the other way around! Very offensive, he knows how to score and assist and runs a lot. But we already have Jeffrey Schlupp as a liniar player and I'd prefer midfielders who can play on the opposite part of their preferred foot.

They were invited cause the 10 South American team are too few to form 3 groups. They are the current champions of Asia.

Not an incredible squad, but they showed football has developed well in their area and are not easy to beat. 3 offensive players stand out: 22 year old Akram Afif, winger, probably the best player in the Middle East region. 27 goals and 13 assists in 2400 minutes in Qatar and the Asian Champions League last year. He belongs to Villarreal and has played in Europe, in Belgium for Eupen, between 18 and 20 years old, managing 9 goals and 4 assists. It remains to be seen if Villarreal, one of the top 6 teams in Spain, will integrate him into their squad, at such a high level, or if they want to sell.

22 year old striker Ali Almoez was the star of the Asian Cup earlier this year. A very fast and hard working striker, he even managed to score once in this Copa America. At his age, he has the skills to further develop as a god player in a European league. 19 goals in 39 matches for the national team and the opposition was often PL level: Japan, South Korea, Australia.

Third good player is 28 year old winger Hassan Al Haydos, 26 goals in 120 national team matches. Also very good at club level, but kind of old by now to come to Europe.

They managed a 2-2 with Paraguay, where they created a lot of other chances too. 0-0 against Colombia until the 88th minute, then Colombia finally scored and won. Colombia was the better team, but not by much, Qatar was a strong, tough team in a match against a very good opponent. Lost against Argentina in the third match, but Argentina has players like Messi and Aguero.

Group C

They've been playing with a very similar squad for the past 8 years!! Same manager, Oscar Tabarez. He has even managed the team in their best performance at the World Cup, the 2010 semi-final, when Luis Suarez and Cavani were playing up front with Diego Forlan, Now Forlan is retired, and Suarez and Cavani make uo the attack by themselves. Backup strikers include Spain based Maximiliano Gomez of Celta Vigo (a very sought player) or Cristian Stuani, the old goalscorer of Girona, or even Jonathan Rodriguez, playing in Mexico.

Midfielders are often Italy Serie A-based, with Bentancur of Juventus, Vecino of Inter, Lucas Torreira of Arsenal formerly of Sampdoria. Youngster midfielder Valverde is of Real Madrid, while 30 year old Lodeiro was at Ajax and is now in the MLS, but is already too old and pretty chubby to make it in the Premier League.
Only players still left to make the step to Europe are attacking midfielder de Arrascaeta from Brazil's Flamengo and central or right midfielder Nahitan Nandez from Boca Juniors. The problem is that de Arrascaeta cost Flamengo a lot, over 9 million and they would ask for even more to sell. Nandez is playing sometimes central, sometimes right and you can't really evaluate him on one fixed position. He'd also be very expensive.

Defenders are pretty old and established with exception of Saracchi, who was recently transferred by RB Leipzig and is one or the future. The Atletico Madrid couple Gimenez-Godin is really good in central defense.

Other players who were used last years and aren't here are attacking midfielders Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez, who have gotten old and right back Maxi Perreira of Portugal, also old.

PSV attacking midfielder Gaston Pereiro is a backup and very highly rated in Europe. Slow, but gifted playmaker Gaston Ramirez of Italy rarely makes the squad.

2 years ago they came to the Copa America without Luis Suarez and had a lousy tournament, being beaten even by Venezuela in the group stage. This time, Cavani and Suarez linked up pretty well in the group and they scored some goals, Uruguay played much better than 2 years and deserved to go to the semi-finals, had 2 disallowed goals against Peru and ultimately lost at penalties.

First 11: Muslera (Galatasaray)- Coates, Gimenez, Godin (both Atletico Madrid), Caceres (Juventus)- Nahitan Nandez, Vecino (Inter)/Valverde (Real Madrid), Bentancur (Juventus)- de Arrascaeta (Brazil)/Lodeiro(MLS)- Luis Suarez, Cavani

Some very questionable decisions by their manager. They had a pretty good Copa America last time. But they had Antonio Valencia regularly playing back then as a starting right back for Man Utd (though they were using him as right midfielder at the national team), center forward Enner Valencia was in good form, they had Bolanos playing as second striker and un-injured Jefferson Montero (now of Swansea in the Championship) playing as left winger. Backup striker Jaime Ayovi, now 31 and playing in the arab zone, also contributed with goals when coming on.

This time, Antonio Valencia came after a year of injuries and former starters Bolanos and Jefferson Montero weren't in the squad, neither was Ayovi.

But they weren't in for good reasons. What's baffling is that players like winger Fidel Martinez, now in Ecuador with a great club level season, but formerly of strong teams across the continent and 30 caps with 7 goals and wide midfielders MLS based Joao Plata and Cristian Penilla, as well as strikers Jhon Cifuente or young Bryan Angulor, were all left at home.

Considering that besides center forward Enner Valencia and 31 year old wide midfielder Angel Mena of Mexican club Leon (the best winger in the Mexican league, very good player, too bad that he's already 31), the other attacking called up players weren't in great form. The manager relied on attacking brothers Ibarra, 28 year old Renato Ibarra, formerly of Europe's Vitesse, but a pretty average player and Romario Ibarra, his 23 year old younger brother, with pretty bad seasons at club level, but 3 goals scored in the last year for the national team in 7 matches. Turned out that those 3 goal were mostly luck and not what the boy could constantly do, as would have been obvious from his yearly exploits at club level.

Ayrton Preciado is a decent winger playing in the Mexican league, but not really PL material (at least not just yet, he's 24 years old).

Left back Cristian Ramirez and central defender Arturo Mina play in Europe for Krasnodar and Maltyaspor of Turkey, but they're not something special.

Enner Valencia would be the player to take into consideration, but he's an important goalscorer in the Mexican league, he cost them 5,5 million, has a contract until 2022 and probably won't leave for less than 10, which wouldn't be enormous, but I don;t think fans would enjoy getting a 29 year old player who was flushed out by West Ham a few years ago. his defence, he was used wrongly at West Ham, mostly as a winger, not as a striker, where he excels.

Angel Mena, left footed winger, the best in Mexico, wiuld be great for the PL even at his age. But there would be no re-sale value. Still, he'd be as good as Townsend or even better in the next 2-3 years.

First 11: Dominguez- Velasco, Arboleda, Mina/Achillier (34 years old), Ramirez- Mendez, Gruezo (MLS defensive midfielder, going to Augsburg for 4 million), Orejuela- Angel Mena/A.Valencia, Enner Valencia, Ibarra/Preciado.

They came with an experimental squad, this wasn't Japan's first team. Only players from Europe in this squad were 36 years old gk from Strassbourg Kawashima, central midfielder Shibasaki from Getafe, old striker Shinji Okazaki, former champion with Leicester, probably saying his goodbye to international level, winger Tatsuya Ito from Hamburg and 3 defenders from Belgium and the Netherlands, not really established internationals.

There was also Shoya Nakajima, one of the best players in the Portuguese league, subject of a 35 million transfer by Qatar club Al Duhail last winter. He still has it, you can;t forget football in 6 months, but it's damaging for him to stay there for long. But when they give him that salary......Porto really wants to transfer him this summer, but they've only made a 12,5 million offer.

Also, teenage sensation Takefusa Kubo, 18 years old, has recently joined the ranks of Real Madrid's second team, and actually did a very good Copa America. He scored 5 and assited 4 in 1100 minutes the Japanese league last year, a pretty good level, somewhere above the Championship.

Players of the Japanese national team from Europe who weren't called up for the Copa America:
29 year old right back Hiroki Sakai from Marseille
32 year old left back Nagatomo from Galatasaray
30 year old central defender Maya Yoshida from Southampton
30 year old attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund (was on loan at Besiktas and did great), used to be the star of the team, still one of the best attacking midfielders in the world, Borussia has him on sale for cheap, a bargain
28 year old winger Haraguchi from Germany's Hannover, but he's “all running, no skill”
26 year old winger Takashi Usami, from Fortuna Dusseldorf (a player I know really well and who deserved much more than an average team)
31 year old winger Takashi Inui from Alaves (average)
20 year old, Barcelona followed prospect Ritsu Doan from Netherlands' Groningen
26 year old Junya Ito who made the step in winter from Japan to Europe's Genk and will now play in the Champions League after winning the Blegian title (a apleyer I talked about and recommended last year cause it was his time to come to Europe)
29 year old forward Yuya Osako from Werder Bremen, capable of playing as striker and on the wings
22 year old second striker or attacking midfielder Daichi Kamada, who belongs to Eintracht Frankfurt, but who was loaned out to the Belgian league last year and rocked it and if Frankfurt would sell him for less than 5 million, he'd make a terrific investment
24 year old second striker Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg, a good young player with high potential
24 year old second striker Takuma Asano, belonging to Arsenal, but waiting to be loaned out or sold, last time on loan at Germany's Stuttgart and Hannover
26 years old Yoshinori Muto from Newcastle, a really agile striker, who didn't have the best year in the PL because Rafa Benitez mostly used him as a winger or didn't give him playing time, but he's a very good striker with a sense of scoring, as proved in Germany with FC Mainz

Winners of the last 2 editions, this is practically a “Golden generation” for them. Granted, they had good players in a very good moment in their careers: Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez, gk Claudio Bravo and striker Eduardo Vargas standing out the most. Bravo has since lost the national team not playing for Man City. Sanchez is now in a bad period, the others have gotten older (central defenders Medel and Jara) etc.

They narrowly missed last year's World Cup tournament after finishing 6th in the South American qualifiers, a 2-2 draw with lowly Bolivia meaning Peru surpassed them. 4 years before that, they played really well at the Wordl Cup, but were unlucky to narrowly lose to Brazil in the final 16. This generation of players was built by coach Jorge Sampaoli, first winner of the Copa America. He created a team which has over 60% possession every time it plays, even if they play opponents like Argentina or Germany. I remember the Confederations Cup final a few years ago, which Germany won 1-0, but Chile was clearly the better team. And it was Germany!!

First 11: Arias-Isla, Medel, Jara, Beausejour- Aranguiz, Pulgar, Vidal- Fuenzalida, Ed. Vargas, Alexis Sanchez.

Pretty much the same team from 5 years ago, with the goalkeeper being changed, Beausejour being pulled back to left back this year because of usual left back Mena's injury and Fuenzalida, a 34 year old player, but in goood shape and with a good season, taking Beausejour's place as winger. Pulgar took over for defensive midfielder after Basel-based Diaz retired.

Hard to get anyone from this team. Isla is old. Medel is old. I have to appreciate him though, he's the only cenral defender I've ever seen who played wih great success at international level despite being shorther than 5 foot 7. Other center back, Jara, is very old. Beausejour is very old, he was in the Premier League with Wigan a lifetime ago.

Aranguiz is with Leverkusen, a starter for one of the top 4 teams in the Bundesliga, can't be touched. Vidal is at the highest level still. Wionderful work ethic player. Pulgar is with Bologna of Italy.

Attacking starters are 34 year old Fuenzalida and very expensive Alexis Sanchez. Vargas, though....Avrgas would be afordable, The second best scorer in the history of the Chile team, 38 goals to Sanchez's 43, above Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorrano, Vargas plays in Mexico for Tigres. He is able to play as center forward and as winger. Has scored 27 in 3500 minutes at club level in the last 2 years playing in a central position (not wide). Scored and assisted 9 in 1400 minutes at national team level in the past 2 years, 47 goals and assists in 6200 minutes in total. Regarding his time in Europe, it is often stated that he “didn;t make it/ wasn't convincing”, but his time at Napoli meant 4 goals in 800 minutes, at Valencia 5 goals and 4 assists in 1800 minutes, in the Bundesliga at Hoffenheim 2 goals and 5 assists in 1600 minutes, many of those minutes being used as winger rather than center forward. And at QPR in the PL he was used almost exclusively as right and left winger and managed to score 3 time and assist twice in 1300 minutes.

Other good players from Chile's squad are winger-forward Junior Fernandes, plying his trade in the Turkish league, though he deserves better. He is rather on the old side at 31, but he is a “Zaha type of player”, very fit and strong and able to play anywhere up front.

Backup striker Nicolas Castillo used to be very promising, but in the last year he has struggled with extra pounds. Benfica paid money for him, but he failed to make an impact with them last year.
Felipe Gutierez is a 28 yo central midfielder playing in the MLS for Sporting Kansas City after having played in Europe for Twente. He didn;t make the squad, but has 35 caps and 4 goals from central midfield position and could play the Cabaye role perfectly.

Fast winger Orellana from La Liga's Eibar was also left out, his 33 years old and rather modest season being the reasons.

Chile played well in the group stage, trashed 10 men Ecuador in the second half, even played a much better game in the quarter finals against powerhouse Colombia, who had beaten Argentina easily. Chile had 2 disallowed goals and much better possession than Colombia.Coming up: semi-finals
Brazil-Argentina (!)


Brazil- Michael Pereira- 23 yo left footed winger, 7-8 million

Venezuela-23 yo right foot winger Jefferson Savarino, free

26 yo right foot winger Darwin Machis-5 million

Keep an eye on 19 year old Samuel Sosa, who has been transferred to Argentina, one of the best players for Venezuela U20 and who will soon become an important player for the first national team.

Peru- 26 yo left back Miguel Trauco, free

maybe 29 yo center back Carlos Zambrano, 1-2 million

maybe central midfielder Yotun, 2-3 million

maybe left footed winger Edison Flores, 2-2.5 million

Argentina- central midfielder Ever Banega, around 5-8 million (contract with Sevilla ends in 2020, Boca Juniors interested, Unai Emery wanted him at Arsenal last year)

Colombia-26 yo winger Edwin Cardona, 5-10 million

28 yo central midfielder Uribe, 5-10 million

Paraguay- 25 yo winger Derlis Gonzalez, IF available for around 5-6 million

21 yo left back Arzamendia, 1-2 million

Keep an eye on winger Cecilio Dominguez

Ecuador- 31 year old winger Angel Mena, 3 million

Japan- 30 year old attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa, 2-3 million

26 year old winger Takashi Usami, 1-2 million

22 year old second striker Daichi Kamada, if available for up to 5 million

Chile- 29 yo striker Eduardo Vargas, 6 million
even winger Junior Fernandes would be a good solution for short term (2-3 years)- 1-2 million

maybe Felipe Gutierrez as central midfielder- 2-3 million

Edited by mattteo (03 Jul 2019 2.28am)


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View Crystal ClearCPFC's Profile Crystal ClearCPFC Flag Croydon 03 Jul 19 2.37am Send a Private Message to Crystal ClearCPFC Add Crystal ClearCPFC as a friend

love that you have put all this effort into your'e choices. just a really long read.


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View samprior's Profile samprior Flag Hamburg 03 Jul 19 2.59am Send a Private Message to samprior Add samprior as a friend

Unbelievable detail! Do you also put these things together for reasons outside of HOL?

I guess the biggest problem for acquiring the younger players will be work permit eligibility.


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View mattteo's Profile mattteo Flag 03 Jul 19 3.32am Send a Private Message to mattteo Add mattteo as a friend

Originally posted by samprior

Unbelievable detail! Do you also put these things together for reasons outside of HOL?

I guess the biggest problem for acquiring the younger players will be work permit eligibility.

If they play for the national team and thennational team is in the FIFA Top 50 rankings, then they can be transferred.and get a work permit. Ok, there are some different rules for teams in the top 20, in the top 40 or top 50, but if said players played more than 50% of the national team's games in the last years, he should be eligible.

I write in a lot of places, but I fancy Palace, so I like to post here. But a detailed analysis takes some time. I've been slowly analysing and writing this since the Copa America started.


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View samprior's Profile samprior Flag Hamburg 03 Jul 19 4.43pm Send a Private Message to samprior Add samprior as a friend

Originally posted by mattteo

If they play for the national team and thennational team is in the FIFA Top 50 rankings, then they can be transferred.and get a work permit. Ok, there are some different rules for teams in the top 20, in the top 40 or top 50, but if said players played more than 50% of the national team's games in the last years, he should be eligible.

I write in a lot of places, but I fancy Palace, so I like to post here. But a detailed analysis takes some time. I've been slowly analysing and writing this since the Copa America started.

Fair enough. My knowledge of foreign based players rapidly declined once I stopped playing Championship Manager 01/02! Doubt many of my top scouted talents from then would be any use these days

Have you heard of the 'This football life' podcast? There's a couple of episodes you might find interesting featuring data analysis and scouting. The scouting one in particular surprised me of how amateurish some aspects of the profession appear. Although it is just one guys account albeit a recent premier league scout at Watford.


Nb also the interview with the guy in charge of the club from Norway with the youngest average squad is a good listen.

Edited by samprior (03 Jul 2019 4.45pm)


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View twist's Profile twist Flag Miami, Florida 05 Jul 19 10.17pm Send a Private Message to twist Add twist as a friend

What you fail to realize about South American players, they give 150% for their countries in major tournaments, and usually look far better than they do for their clubs.

Messi being the exception, though he had a good Copa.

Still, even with that in mind, your $$$ values are way under what would need to be shelled out.


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Tom-the-eagle Flag Croydon 05 Jul 19 10.24pm

Originally posted by mattteo

If you added a bit more detail that could have been a good post.

Edited by Midlands Eagle (06 Jul 2019 7.04am)


"It feels much better than it ever did, much more sensitive." John Wayne Bobbit

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View mattteo's Profile mattteo Flag 06 Jul 19 3.02pm Send a Private Message to mattteo Add mattteo as a friend

Originally posted by twist

What you fail to realize about South American players, they give 150% for their countries in major tournaments, and usually look far better than they do for their clubs.

Messi being the exception, though he had a good Copa.

Still, even with that in mind, your $$$ values are way under what would need to be shelled out.

I'm mostly making my assesements based on their club level performances.

Many of those, like Darwin Machis or Matheus Pereira or Derlis Gonzales for a long time or the Japanese I've talked about (invited to this year's Copa America) play in Europe.

And the ones who don't, they play on the MLS or in the Mexican or Colombian leagues, pretty good level, similar to medium leagues of Europe, like the Potuguese or Dutch ones.

Edited by mattteo (19 Jul 2019 4.44pm)


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View mattteo's Profile mattteo Flag 19 Jul 19 4.43pm Send a Private Message to mattteo Add mattteo as a friend

Matheus Pereira, refered to here in the "Brazil" section, is very close to WBA, either full transfer or on loan with an option to buy from Sporting Lisbon.

Darwin Machis, Venezuelan winger, very strong and quick, close to former team Granada, who achieved promotion in the Spanish La Liga again, honestly he's a bargain at around 5 million. Very similar to Townsend, but right footed.

Shinji Kagawa will continue with Besiktas if he doesn't find a team in a top league. Borussia Dortmund supposedly wants just around 2 million. He's just 30 years old. A wonderful player in my opinion. Besiktas bosses were really happy with him, wait for him some more days.

Young Daichi Kamada could go from Eintracht Frankfurt to Stuttgart even though he scored for Frankfurt a week ago.

Edison Flores, the left footed Peruvian winger, is wanted by Lokomotiv Moscow.

Jefferson Savarino, whose contract with the MLS team expires in 5 months, is wanted by multiple PL teams (Newcastle and West Ham among them):

Edited by mattteo (19 Jul 2019 5.03pm)


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View Charmyer's Profile Charmyer Flag Tampa, Florida 26 Jul 19 10.59am Send a Private Message to Charmyer Add Charmyer as a friend

Great post Matteo. For a club like ours with limited financial capital, I would love to see us scout North and South America more and bring in some of this great talent we can acquire for $2-15 mill or even on a Free.

Why should we continue to pay huge money for championship players or players based in other European leagues when we can get very talented players for much cheaper across the pond?


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