I have to admit that the only ‘mosquito’ I had heard of before this week’s latest round of transfer speculation, were those annoying little blighters who insist on eating you alive in the middle of the night whilst visiting foreign climes.
But I’ve been recently alerted to the fact that one of the next best things to come out of Brazil is on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest clubs who could not fail to have been impressed by this young player’s performances at the FIFA Under 17 World Cup.
The teenager they call ‘Mosquito’ (aka Thiago Rodrigues da Silva) is currently playing for Atletico Paranaense but is set to follow Neymar onto foreign fields once he turns 18 next month. Real Madrid and Juventus have already shown interest, and now Manchester United and Chelsea are putting out feelers.
Mosquito’s club are believed to be holding out for a fee in the region of £4million, although there could be complications with any potential deal because of an ongoing dispute between Atletico and the player’s former club Vasco da Gama.
Reports this week suggest Chelsea are willing to meet the valuation after positive reports from the club's South American scouting network, and would likely send the player on-loan to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem on loan for the 2014-15 season.
Mosquito first sprang to prominence in 2011, when the then-Vasco da Gama forward finished the Under-15 South American Championship as top scorer with ten goals from seven matches.
Having played as a wide forward at Under-13 and Under-14 level, it was in 2011 that he began to be used as a central striker. It was in this position that his game began to evolve from one of just electric pace, to now being regarded as a fine all-around attacking player.
Having been top scorer with the national side and at Vasco from an early age, his progress is being carefully monitored by many in high places and having proved himself at Under 17 level, he’s expected to enhance his growing reputation in the next stage of his development.