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From Brazil with love

Which Brazilian youngsters could follow Gabriel Jesus to the Premier League?

Gabriel Jesus’ Premier League integration has been so smooth that no one is really questioning Pep Guardiola’s decision to drop Sergio Aguero.

The 19-year-old arrived straight from Brazilian side Palmeiras, where he won the double and was named Player of the Year, and has already scored three times for Man City.

His signing will undoubtedly have managers across Europe cursing the fact they didn’t act on Jesus’ potential earlier, as the fee of £27million is looking more of a bargain every time he steps out onto the pitch.

So who are the next Brazilian youngsters Premier League managers should be keeping their eyes on?

1 Thiago Maia

Maia is typical of the new breed of Brazilian midfielders who showcase athletic ability above the traditional flair of bygone eras.

The 19-year-old won Olympic gold with Brazil last summer, alongside fellow Santos academy product Neymar.

It’s only a matter of time before the defensive midfielder makes the move to Europe, with Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and PSG all circling.

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2 Luan

Another player who made a mark as part of Brazil’s Olympic squad was Luan, who has already made his debut for the senior side.

The 23-year-old Gremio forward has the attacking versatility to play anywhere across the frontline, although he’s best in a shadow striker role.

He’s had three seasons at Gremio now and must be keen to move to Europe, having watched former Under-20 team-mates Marquinhos and Doria take the plunge.

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3 Rodrigo Caio

Caio would have made the move to Europe already were it not for a failed medical that saw a move to Valencia collapse in the summer of 2015.

The defender remains at Sao Paulo, where he started his career, and has added two senior international caps to his name since the Valencia disappointment.

While injuries remain a concern, the 23-year-old, who can also operate in defensive midfield, is more than ready for a move to Europe.

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4 Felipe Vizeu

Vizeu didn’t quite make the cut for Brazil’s Olympic squad, but the striker has starred for the Under-20 side, scoring three goals in six games in 2017.

The 19-year-old came through Flamengo’s academy, the same youth setup that produced a similarly powerful striker in Adriano.

Last year was encouraging at club level, with Vizeu scoring eight goal in all competitions, so don’t be surprised if a Premier League side takes a gamble in the near future.

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5 Luan Garcia

Luan had to watch on from the bench as Brazil won Olympic gold, with his route to the first-team blocked by Marquinhos and Rodrigo Caio.

At 6ft 2in the centre-back has the physicality to compete in the Premier League, and has been playing first-team football since the age of 17.

His club Vasco de Gama were responsible for producing Phillippe Coutinho, and they’ll have high hopes that Luan can make a similar impression in Europe.

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