The next big things and the players to look for
Tipped by Argentina legend and national coach Diego Maradona (him with the mullet and expensive earrings) as one to keep an eye on, Eduardo Salvio has showcased his ability to weave in and out of defenders to create and score goals, making him a consistent threat.
The 19-year-old's acceleration, low centre of gravity and excellent dribbling skills are enough to leave even the most experienced of defenders tied up in knots.
The dynamic forward is also an excellent finisher with remarkable composure in front of goal and the latest in a long line of short, pacey Argentinian forwards in the mould of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, and of course, Diego himself.
His form and reputation were enough to turn the heads of the likes of AC Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Arsenal, but it was Atletico Madrid who moved quickest to seal a €10 million move earlier this month.
FourFourTwo contributor Martin Mazur gives us the lowdown on the new boy at the Vicente Calderón…
Salvio takes a moment to tweak his nipple - as is his wont...
Eduardo Salvio Age 19Position Striker/Winger/Attacking midfielderNationality Argentinian Club Atletico MadridGames 30 Goals 11
The most promising striker in Argentinian football may have played almost two full seasons out of position, yet he managed to maintain his reputation as a wonderkid.
El Toto grew up as the club’s main striker in every level of the academy, yet his introduction to professional football, at 17, saw him converted to a tricky right-winger that made goals for poacher Jose Sand rather than scoring them himself.
After Sand’s departure, however, Salvio took over up front and, as expected, quickly stepped into his goal scoring boots to become the team’s best player.
Unstoppable with the ball at his feet, Salvio is the perfect counter-attacking footballer, making defenders clumsily crash against each other while he bears down on goal with his trademark silky smooth dribbling technique, earning comparisons with the last Argentinian prodigy, his new teammate, Sergio Aguero.
Zoos in Argentina feature footballers rather than chimps and goats and stuff...
Also referred to as Pocho – due to his resemblance to the other El Pocho, Napoli’s Ezequiel Lavezzi – Salvio is as good playing as a second striker, a No.10, or even as a wide midfielder.
But it’s in the box where he comes alive.
What’s most intriguing about Salvio’s is his unpredictability: when defenders think he will dribble, he shoots; when they think he will shoot, he outruns them to make space for a cross; when they think he will spin, he waits for the foul and gains a dangerous free-kick.
Talentspotter Ratings:Heading - 5Crossing - 7Tackling - 4Creativity - 8Passing - 7Work-rate - 7Pace - 9Shooting - 8Dribbling - 9Overall - 8
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From all accounts he is absolutely prime. Let's hope Maradona doesn't get jealous and mess him about a la Messi.
Maradona shouldn't have to think this thru too much, Milito & Lavezzi upfront (sorry this kid can wait for 2014)... Messi can play as right winger and stick Banega in as midfield distributor... kaboom you got yourself a World Cup Finalist!
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