On the basis of history, when Tottenham fans see their club linked with a Brazilian midfielder plying his trade over in South America, they might shudder a tad.
Paulinho’s ill-fated 24 months in north London didn’t go quite as planned and he was shipped off to China as a result, but that hasn’t prevented Jose Mourinho’s side from eyeing another talent from the home of samba.
Spurs have been on case of Flamengo’s Gerson with a view to a summer move, but the Brazilian outfit are not overly keen on letting their star man leave. Valued at £16m by the Premier League side, it appears no matter what figure Tottenham are willing to part with, Fla won’t budge.
Everyone has their price though, don’t they? Whether Spurs decide to continue with their pursuit isn’t known yet, but if they do succeed in luring Gerson to England, then it’s best we brush up on exactly who the player is.
Spurs Already Made a Move Back in December
A source confirmed to 90min back in December that initial talks were held between the two clubs over Gerson’s availability, with an eye to getting a deal sorted in time for the January transfer window.
Spurs were willing to bide their time on any deal and even allow Gerson to be loaned back to Flamengo until the end of the 2019/20 Premier League season.
They were still happy to wait until the summer to secure a deal if needs be, but their interest was strong and the latest developments suggest that hasn’t dissipated.
His First European Venture Didn’t Go as Planned
Having spent barely any time at all playing top level football in Brazil before Europe took notice, much was expected of Gerson at Roma when they forked out €15m to sign him in January 2016.
It took him a full 11 months to make his first start in Serie A, although he found regular playing time more common the following season. 31 outings in all competitions signalled the start of a prominent role in midfield, but he was shipped out on loan to Fiorentina for the 2018/19 campaign.
He was a mainstay in the side that term, but a return to Brazil beckoned and Flamengo brought an end to his time on the continent. Being unable to impress enough in Italy, his first crack at European football didn’t end quite as he’d hoped.
He’s Been Instrumental to Flamengo’s Recent Dominance
By far the standout team in Brazil during the 2019 season, Gerson’s role in their success cannot be understated. Lethal striker Gabriel Barbosa may have topped the scoring charts, but it was Gerson’s industry in midfield that was the glue holding the operation together.
He boasts bags of energy, neat ball playing ability and the usual Brazilian flair, which makes it no wonder why Flamengo were crowned 2019 South American club champions.
As well as the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, he’s lifted the Copa Libertadores, Supercopa do Brasil and Recopa Sudamericana during his short stay in Rio de Janeiro. Individually, he also earned a spot in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Team of the Year.
He Caused a Stir When Moving to Flamengo
When his time in Italy came to an end, Flamengo spared no expense in their efforts to bring him back to the Southern hemisphere, forking out £10.6m to bring Gerson to the Maracana.
What it did entail, though, was that Gerson had crossed the divide in Rio, having started his career out with Fluminense – the biggest rivals of his new club. This was not his first time at the iconic Maracana.
He’s enjoyed far greater success during his second stint in Brazil, having only claimed a Primeira Liga title in 2016 with his former employers.
Arsenal Have Investigated the Case…According to His Dad
The age of families getting involved in their sons’ club futures seems to have peaked, with reports of someone’s gran, half-brother or next door neighbour weighing in on their family member’s future via some radio station that specialises in traffic updates becoming a far more frequent occurrence.
“Nobody knew about Arsenal, but now that I’m telling you so everyone will know,” Marcos Santos told ESPN. “Everyone you hear there is true. But they only probed.”
Their probing probably never went further given their current and long-running financial predicament, but the fact that more eyes are on Gerson following his superb individual season suggest Tottenham my be rivaled for his signature ahead of the window opening.