Having rebuilt his career with Santos after flopping in Europe, Gabigol is proving that he deserves another chance to show what he can do for Brazil
Back in 2015, Gabigol was one of the hottest prospects in the Brazilian league.
Three years on and he is once again back to the same status, with hype growing around the striker following his resurgence from a failed first spell in European football. Is it time for the Santos star to return to the Seleção?
A lot has been said about Gabriel Barbosa, after his disappointing time in Europe where things did not go too well for him at Internazionale nor at Benfica. However, a case can be made that the Brazilian never really got enough chances to prove himself on the pitch.
It’s true that players need to impress in training and show an encouraging mentality to get opportunities from their managers as a reward, but at the same time, how many managers have been proven wrong when it comes to choosing the right and/or wrong players?
The managers who were in charge of Gabigol in Europe have now all been sacked from their respective positions since then, whereas he is comfortably the leading goal-scorer of the Brazilian league with 16 goals to his tally so far. A 22-year old doing that, for a struggling Santos side, is most certainly impressive. Let’s not forget that many Brazilian greats had not even transferred to Europe at this age yet.
Gabriel is currently one of the best players in the Brazilian league, and his brief experience with the national team has been encouraging, both in the Olympic games where he helped his country conquer the title for the first time in its history, as well as in the few opportunities he got under former first-team coach Carlos Dunga.
As Gabriel Jesus continues to be the reserve option for the striker’s role at Manchester City and with Roberto Firmino entering a goal-drought over the past few weeks, there is no reason why Tite should not give the chance to an emerging young talent who has been performing consistently well over the past few months.
The World Cup squad had left a lot to be desired, but it is never too late to learn from mistakes; and one of Tite’s errors was certainly to close the door so early on and refuse to expand his list of players worthy of a trial. For all we know, Gabigol may succeed or flop big time for the national team, but if you never try, you will never be able to determine what would have been the outcome.
Squad selections should be based on merit, and the matter of fact is that based on current form, Gabigol deserves to be given an opportunity with Brazil’s national team. The upcoming two friendlies in March 2019, may well be the moment that the rising striker has been waiting for.