When it comes to finding an expert in South American football, you will have to go a long way to top BBC correspondent, Tim Vickery.
The English journalist has lived in Brazil since 1994 and he is the go to man for multiple publications like World Soccer, Sports Illustrated and the World Football Phone-In on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Everyone wants to know who the next superstar from South America is going to be, so we went straight to the man himself – and he revealed to Football Whispers TV the four standout players he could see moving across the Atlantic.
Tim Vickery's South American Talent Report… by FootballWhispers
Lucas Pratto, 28, Atletico Mineiro
Capped by Argentina at senior level, the burly centre forward, as Tim Vickery explains, is being linked in Brazil with a move to West Ham United.
“I think that is probably unlikely, he’s 28,” he said. “There’s no sell on value, but Sevilla of Spain are also interested.”
América-TO oficializa interesse no atleta Lucas Pratto. pic.twitter.com/q3KhBz2g5z
— AméricaFCTO (@AmericaFCTO) January 4, 2017
Pratto played in both the Serie A and Copa Libertadores last season, scoring seven goals in 19 games, but failed to net in the quarter-finals of South America’s version of the Champions League as his club were knocked out by Sao Paulo.
Tottenham legend Ossie Ardiles likened him to Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, citing his size and excellent technique. Good enough to keep Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain on the bench for his country. Good enough for the Hammers?
Rodrigo Bentancur, 19, Boca Juniors
“Lanky, versatile, talented. He reminds me of a left-footed Lucho Gonzalez.” That’s how Vickery described Boca Juniors’ Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.
Juventus is evaluating the idea of signing Bentancur in January. [Sky] pic.twitter.com/uCzBKLPz29
— Khaledalnouss (@khaledalnouss1) January 9, 2017
As he explained, Italian giants Juventus have an option on the 19-year-old and if he doesn’t move across to Europe in January, the belief is he certainly will in the summer.
Walace, 21, Gremio
Even after the signing of Genk’s Wilfred Ndidi, Premier League champions Leicester City have been linked with a move for Brazilian midfielder Walace.
— Galácticos Fútbol (@fut_galacticos) December 15, 2016
“He’s a holding midfielder. Tall, commanding and getting better,” revealed Vickery.
The Gremio man has already won his first senior cap and was part of the Under-20 squad that lifted Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Yerry Mina, 22, Palmeiras
The 22-year-old Colombian plays as a centre-back for Brazilian champions Palmeiras.
— Gol Caracol (@GolCaracol) January 8, 2017
He only moved from Independiente Santa Fe in May 2016, but has already been linked with a move to Manchester City and Barcelona.
“He cleans up in the air and he’s quick across the ground,” said Vickery. “His agent says he won’t be moving this year, but money talks. And if my club were in the market for a centre-back, I know where I’d be looking.”