The next big things and the players to look for
Sandro Raniere Guimarães Cordeiro (Sandro) Date of Birth 15/03/1989 (21)Nationality Brazilian Club Internacional Position Defensive Midfielder / Centre Back Games 71 Goals 3
Working out which of Tom Huddlestone and Wilson Palacios would partner Sandro in central midfield, should he finally make his much-speculated upon move to White Hart Lane this summer, is difficult, because in a way the Brazilian international combines the strengths of both in one tidy package.
In all probability, he would be a better fit for the role currently undertaken by Palacios - although the three would probably end up being rotated depending on the oppositon.
A tall, dynamic holding midfielder also capable of playing in central defence, Riachinho-born Sandro is most effective sat in front of the back four, where his primary role is to act as a spoiler, breaking up opposition attacks.
However is a capable of much, much more than that.
He’s often seen initiating his team’s forward play, driving with the ball through the centre of the park, or maintaining the team’s possession with his sensible and considered distribution of the ball.
However that creative side to his game still needs to improve - especially his longer range passing, while he also doesn’t score many goals for a central midfielder. Time is certainly on his side in that respect; he is still young and should improve with age, experience and the right coaching.
Sandro first joined Internacional as a 16 year old in 2005. He spent two years playing for the club at youth level before making his first team debut in 2007 aged 18.
However it was in the 2008 season that he really began to make a name for himself, scoring twice in eight appearances as inter went on to win the Copa Sudamericana - the South American equivalent of the Europa League - beating Argentinean side Estudiantes in the final.
By the 2009 season, Sandro had developed into a key figure in the Inter side, despite still being just 20. The midfielder helped his team finish second on the Brazilian Seria A, sealing a place in the 2010 Copa Libertadores.
Formerly the captain of the Brazil under-20 side, his form during the 2009 season caught the eye of senior team coach Dunga, who handed Sandro his first call up for A Seleção for the World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Chile as a replacement for Wolfburg’s Josue.
He made his full international debut against the latter in a 4-2 victory, but despite continuing to impress in Seria A, he’ll face an uphill battle to dislodge one of Felipe Melo, Kleberson or Gilberto Silva before Dunga picks his final 23 for South Africa.
Sandro is a strong, hard-working player with a good engine – he is rarely found wanting when it comes to blades of grass covered over the course of 90 minutes. He is also aggressive in the tackle, yet sensible when in possession of the football – he prefers to keep things simple rather than trying to pull off the sort of elaborate flicks or tricks often favoured by his countryman.
He is a technically astute player, and a natural leader who gives confidence to those around him. All of which would stand him in good stead, should a move to the Premier League finally materialise.
Tottenham reportedly made their first move at the end of last summer, however Internacional were reluctant to sell another star player following Nilmar’s departure to Villarreal. Spurs returned in January with another offer, but Inter were then keen to hold onto their starlet through to the summer, so he could be involved in their Copa Libertadores campaign.
A slight complication with the timing of any deal could be the fact the Libertadores final doesn’t take place until August 14th, the first day of the new Premier League season.
With four years still to run on his current contract, and 30% of his rights owned by a third party, there will be many hurdles to overcome before a deal can be finalised, but Sandro looks like being worth the trouble.
Talentspotter Ratings: • Shooting 6.0 • Passing 7.0 • Heading 5.4 • Tackling 7.8 • Pace 7.4 • Work-rate 7.7 • Crossing 6.0 • Creativity 7.0 • Dribbling 6.5• Overall 7.6
With thanks to all at Championship Manager
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