Grêmio‘s new star player, Everton Soares, has a battle to keep Gremio in the Copa Libertadores before fighting for a Copa America place with Brazil
Grêmio have recently handed over Arthur Melo to the European continent, and he has already become a key figure at FC Barcelona and won the hearts of often heard-to-please supporters of the Camp Nou club.
But now it’s time for Everton Soares to show what he’s made of, as rumors are already strongly linking him with a summer move to Europe, with the likes of AC Milan and Liverpool reportedly interested.
Everton has been absolutely spectacular for Grêmio over the past 18-months or so. After scoring eight goals and providing four assists in the Brazilian league in 2017, he ended the calendar year in style as he scored the winner against Mexico’s Pachuca in the semi-final phase of the FIFA Club World Cup, helping the Rio Grande do Sul-based side reach the final, where they would eventually lose to Real Madrid.
That golaço that had booked them their place in the final, will still be memorable, thanks to Everton’s moment of brilliance, as he was able to resolve the match by counting on his individual abilities, when the team had failed as a unit to break the deadlock.
Moving on to 2018, Everton’s stats kept on improving as he scored ten league goals, alongside three assists. But the big eye-catching difference between the two seasons is his dribbling stats, as he suddenly jumped from completing 0.9 successful dribbles per league game, to 3.4.
When a Brazilian youngster nets double figures in the league and is such an impressive dribbler at the same time, it is never a surprise to see him get the nod at the Seleção. This was indeed the case as Tite gave Everton his first Brazil call-up right from his first post-World Cup squad selection.
Everton growing into a role with Grêmio
The Grêmio-man would go on to become an almost consistent squad-figure in the next few call-ups, as he would see the valuable game-time in four friendlies against the United States, El Salvador, Panama and Czech Republic.
Everton was impressive in almost every single match, despite not scoring. It was clear that when he comes on, he adds pace, energy, dribbling skills, and an ability to take on players in one-on-one situations and create space for his teammates, making the whole attack line more dynamic as a unit.
While it is true that Brazil is not short on options on either side of the two flanks, with the evidence of having the possibility to rely on the likes of Neymar JR, Douglas Costa, Lucas Moura, Felipe Anderson, Richarlison, David Neres, Malcom, Vinicius JR, Willian et al, Everton Soares was still able to break into the squad and beat off very heavy competition.
It is difficult to predict for sure whether the 23-year old will eventually be favored ahead of such big names plying their trade in European football, but what is certain is that he has already accomplished what he needed to in Brazil – as it is time for him to make the move to the old continent, in his quest to become a bigger star and a constant figure in the ranks of the five-time world champions.
My prediction is that Everton will indeed be in the Copa América squad, despite Neymar’s return, as Tite seems to be an extremely big fan of him, and seems to still favor Philippe Coutinho in an advanced central midfield role, which would certainly reduce competition on the left-hand side a little bit, making it easier for Soares to cement himself as Neymar’s alternative.