Yet another product off an incredible conveyor belt of attacking talent is starting to make a name for himself at Ajax, where David Neres is becoming the main man
Brazil has never been short of footballing talent.
Every season, a couple of new stars emerge onto the scene, and the latest has been no different. David Neres completed his transfer from São Paulo to Ajax in January for around $14 million, but it is in the current campaign that the Brazil U20 international is starting to show his true colors.
David Neres was one of the best Brazil players in the South American U20 championship in January, and was able to capitalize on the momentum he had built throughout the tournament, by successfully integrating into the ranks of Dutch giants Ajax. Despite having arrived in mid-season, the up-and-coming attacker was able to display his dazzling skills and explosive runs, which earned him a lot of attention from the press.
The Paulista reached a total of five goals and four assists in 16 appearances across all competitions last season, but his position was always in danger during the big games, especially in the Europa League. But this time around, he seems to have cemented himself in the starting lineup. As a matter of fact, he is considered one of the club’s stronger points, as we speak.
In the Dutch classic against Feyenoord, Neres mustered three assists and was effectively the most decisive player in the biggest match in the country. It is a massive morale boost for a 20-year-old, who is gaining extra confidence with every game.
If being involved in nine goals during 16 games last season was not a bad feature for the youngster, then the four goals and three assists he has reached in his last four games give you an idea of how improved David Neres is. Many rising talents are gifted dribblers and can take on opponents, but most of them usually fail to deliver enough goals. Lucas Moura’s start at Paris Saint Germain and Bernard’s at Shakhtar, are perhaps two of the best examples. For all the flair they had shown, they were never decisive enough.
Meanwhile, Neres has been extremely decisive this season even when he is not having his best performance. The Brazilian is a skillful dribbler, who can take on opponents with his close control and explosive pace. But what makes him really special, is the end product that he is capable of delivering, even on his worst day.
A couple of weeks ago, Brazil’s manager Tite hailed David Neres as one of the country’s best talents, and touted him for a Seleção call-up in the near future, if he keeps up his current form, without closing in the door on a surprise inclusion on the plane to Russia. Since that statement, Neres has been only getting better and better.
Brazil has the privilege to be able to rely on a contingent of talented wingers on the right-hand side, who impose themselves as direct competitors for the Ajax-man. From Willian and Douglas Costa, to Malcom and Dudu, David Neres will not find it mission-easy to secure a spot at the FIFA World Cup. But if his enormous progress has taught us anything, it is to never say never when discussing the potential of the Cotia product.