The next Cristiano Ronaldo? Boffins draw up a shopping list for United

12 June 2009 05:33
How can you possibly replace Cristiano Ronaldo? Sir Alex Ferguson, armed with a £100million kitty, is looking at some established talent to step into the Portugal star's shoes. But the Scot will also remember he plucked Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon at a time when few had heard of him. Now our friends at Championship Manager have picked out eight little-known names that should be on the radar of the Manchester United chief. Big shoes to fill: Manchester United are preparing for life without Cristiano Ronaldo Here are some potential replacements for Ronaldo: Name: Douglas Costa Nationality: Brazilian Age: 18 Club: Grêmio FBPA of Brazil Value: £10 million Position: Attacking midfielder Justification: Like Ronaldo he is a versatile attacking player who is comfortable through the middle or on the wing and is also a free-kick specialist. He perhaps isn’t as fast as Ronaldo, but is full of trickery and loves to run at defenders. He has an excellent shot on him and with a buyout clause of just €21 million he would present an affordable alternative. Name: Miralem Pjanic Nationality: Bosnian Age: 19 Club: Olympique Lyonnais of France Value £8 million Position: Attacking midfielder Justification: He’s also a versatile player like Ronaldo and can play on the left, right, or through the middle. He was a regular in the Metz team aged just 17 and has excellent pace and technique. His goal scoring record could be better, but he is only 19 years old so still has plenty of time to develop. Name: Sebastian Giovinco Nationality: Italian Age: 22 Club: Juventus FC of Italy Value: £10 million Position: Attacking midfielder Justification: Aged 22 but only 5ft 4” tall, Giovinco has been protected by Juventus due to his lack of size, yet he possesses exquisite technical gifts and is a hugely promising player. Giovinco is a talented playmaker with fantastic dribbling skills due to his low centre of gravity. He also has ability from free kicks. He has represented Italy at every youth level from U-16s upwards. Name: Alan Dzagoev Nationality:Russian Age: 18 Club: CSKA Moscow of Russia Value: £7 million Position: Attacking midfielder Justification: Aged only 18, Dzagoev took Russia by storm as he became a first team regular for CSKA Moscow last season. Dzagoev is technically gifted, quick and can score goals. He is also dangerous from set pieces. He has played mainly as an attacking midfielder or a second striker, but would also be capable of playing wide due to his pace. Name: Neymar Nationality:Brazilian Age: 17 Club: Santos FC of Brazil Value: £6 million Position: Forward Justification: Known as the new Robinho in Brazil. Like his Santos predecessor, Neymar has a slim frame and can sometimes be muscled off the ball but with the ball at his feet, he is quick, skilful and has an array of tricks and flicks which can destroy opposition defenders. He is expected to move to one of Europe’s big clubs in the future. It is reported that Real Madrid has first option on the player. Name: Ciro Nationality: Brazilian Age: 20 Club: Sport Club Recife of Brazil Value: £4.5 million Position: Forward Justification: One of the best young forwards in Brazilian football at the moment. Ciro is a natural goal scorer with explosive pace and excellent dribbling skills capable of doing the unexpected. In front of goal he scores goals with a level of composure rarely seen in strikers his age. He has adapted to senior football well scoring 4 goals in 9 games in his debut season, followed by a goal on his debut Copa libertadores match against Colo Colo. Name: Javier Pastore Nationality:Argentinian Age: 19 Club: CA Huracán (on loan from CA Talleres Córdoba) Value: £3 million Position: Attacking midfielder Justification: An all around attacking midfielder who combines creativity with the physical side of the game. He is a technically gifted player who passes with precision, shoots with accuracy and head the ball well. Some say he is the best young player in Argentina at the moment. Name: Taison Nationality: Brazilian Age: 21 Club: SC Internacional of Brazil Value: £3 million Position: Attacking midfielder Justification: Internacional’s young forward is very quick and often uses his pace to get behind opposition defences. He is very skilful and comfortable with the ball at his feet. This season he has formed an effective partnership with Nilmar and has played a part in Internacional promising start to the season.

Source: DSG

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