With Ganso becoming an unwanted figure at Sevilla, a big decision is on the horizon for a footballer once branded the new Zidane
In a move that has quickly been forgotten by the football fraternity in Spain, Brazilian midfielder Ganso swapped Sao Paolo for La Liga side, Sevilla, in a deal with up to $11 million last summer. However, despite lengthy negotiations and a hefty fee spent on a footballer by a club not flush with cash, the result has been far from what was expected.
Newly-installed Sevilla boss, Jorge Sampaoli was the figure keen on bringing in Ganso. Initial rumors suggested that he wanted the 27-year old to operate as a regista, due to his ability to distribute the ball. In Brazil, Ganso always played behind the striker – but the Argentinean boss was confident about his ability to reinvent the footballer in a deeper role.
In Copa América 2015 when Chile managed to win their first ever major trophy, Jorge Valdivia played that fundamental role for Sampaoli, who was the coach at the time. At Palmeiras, the midfielder was, just like Ganso, accused of being way too slow, lazy and injury prone. But the Argentinian tactician knew how to get the best out of his number 10, so fans in Brazil were excited about the possibility of a repeat performance with Ganso.
Back in 2010, Ganso was considered to be the biggest talent from Santos’ youth academy, ahead of a certain Neymar. The Barcelona star had himself famously stated in 2010 that Ganso could surpass Zidane. However, the Brazilian has struggled to make an impact at Sevilla.
Despite some beautiful plays, back heels and a couple of no-look passes, Ganso has found himself relegated to the bench. As a matter of fact, he did not even make Sevilla’s squad for the past three games. Is it already time for the 27-year-old to surrender on his footballing career, and opt for a mega money move to China? The Chinese transfer market is open until April 4, whereas the Brazilian one closes on February 28. Ganso’s future is still unclear for the time being.
“Brilliant on the ball, but too slow”. This is how Ismael Gil, director of the Sevilla fans federation, described the Brazilian in an interview with UOL. He then went on to confirm that other Brazilians have shone at Sevilla such as Luis Fabiano and Renato. Both of them needed a lot of time to adapt, but have afterwards become key members in the side. For Gil, every Brazilian needs a whole season to adapt to the Spanish league. From this perspective, Ganso must remain at Sevilla and fight for his position.
On the other hand, Sevilla has arguably been the best Spanish side this season – apart from usual powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid. They are third in the standings, and are set to face Leicester City in the Champions League round of 16. Many pundits consider them to be in the top 10 sides in Europe. Ganso chose a team with a lot of competition, so it is normal that the footballer has to fight for chances.
But another possibility would be a move to a side with less competition, where he would have enough time as playing is the best way to adapt and improve.
Ganso has remarkable vision, ball control and passing skills. It’s up to him to decide if staying at Sevilla is worth the gamble, or if opting for another European side is the best solution. He still has the potential to succeed in the old continent.