As reported elsewhere, Manchester United have signed 19-year old Brazilian Rodrigo Possebon from Internacional. The management rate him highly (quotes from Brian McClair below):
“Rodrigo is a tall, elegant midfielder who fits into the idea of a modern footballer. He has very good ability and is a box-to-box player rather than your silky tricky midfielder. He’s very steady.
Our scout in Brazil John Calvert-Toulmin, who recommended our Brazilian full-back twins Fabio and Rafael Silva, spotted Rodrigo and we’ve been impressed.
His father is of Italian descent and so Rodrigo had an Italian passport. Because of that he is effectively European so all the paper work was sorted out easily.
Rodrigo also speaks very good English which has helped him. That makes a big difference.
He is young and has come a long way from his home to England but he has settled in very well. He’s very level headed and we are pleased to have him.”
In other words, the kid is good, and most importantly will find it easier to settle in Manchester than, let’s say, someone like Park or Dong (language makes a big, big difference).
The question is, in a midfield where Scholes, Hargreaves, Anderson and Carrick (and even Darren Fletcher) are ahead of him, what are the future prospects for Possebon?
Considering that this is a long-term acquisition, I think he’ll stay with us for the rest of the season (as opposed to being sent out on loan) and get integrated into the squad and our culture. Then, depending on how well he does (surely he’ll play pre-season), he could be sent out on loan to a Premier League side or if Possebon is really, really good, he could be elevated to the first team and Manchester United could end up selling Darren Fletcher / Michael Carrick.
Mind you, selling Carrick is highly unlikely given that Scholes is nearing retirement and Fletcher isn’t top-notch. Fletch’s future is more interesting but if O’Shea presence has given you any clue, as long as a squad player like Fletch is willing to stay, Fergie will keep them (Neville / Butt / Smith all left because they wanted to play more).
What do you guys think – is Possebon good enough to replace at least Darren Fletcher in the United squad next season?
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