Brazilian Expert Reveals What Damiao Would Bring To Spurs


Those who frequent Premier League transfer rumour pages (you know who you are) will be very familiar with the name of Leandro Damião. 

As a striker who has gone from obscurity to the Brazil national team in little more than two years, Damião has attracted longing glances (and multi-million pound bids) from a number of clubs. Tottenham Hotspur, in particular, are known to be particularly enamoured. 

Damião didn't follow the typical path into professional football. Having failed to impress in trials with professional clubs in São Paulo, Damião turned to the amateur game, eventually earning a chance with minnows Atlético de Ibirama in the state of Santa Catarina. 

It was there that he was spotted by scouts from Internacional, who took the youngster south to Porto Alegre. Although already physically developed, the forward was put on an intensive training regime by Inter to improve his technique, which had been neglected during to his unusual career trajectory.

Soon, Damião was knocking on the door of the first team. His first major statement of intent alerted a whole continent to his potential; he came off the bench to score a crucial goal in the Copa Libertadores final win over Chivas in 2010. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as a key player for Inter and as one of the deadliest forwards in the Campeonato Brasileiro.

Although perhaps best known for his strength and aerial ability, Damião is also a good technician. His ability to protect the ball with his back to goal has been a feature of Internacional's style, with the striker holding up play to allow attacking midfielders – such as Oscar before his move to Chelsea – to burst into the penalty box.

All of which makes it apparent why Spurs are so desperate to get their man. He’s the striker that they’ve been crying out for: a regular goalscorer (sorry, Emmanuel) who can play as a lone forward (sorry, Jermain), lead the line (sorry, Clint) and bring others into the game.

Fans in the UK got the chance to witness what all the fuss is about at close quarters when the striker represented Brazil in the Olympic Games. 

Spearheading a dashing young seleção side, the 23-year-old enjoyed an excellent tournament, finishing as top scorer with six goals. At times, he bullied opposition defenders, brushing them aside with animal force and punishing them with his unfussy, clinical finishing. His domestic form tailed off slightly after that tournament, costing him a place in the latest Brazil squad, but he remains a shoe-in for the World Cup next year.

It seems unlikely that we've seen the last of Damião on these shores. While Brazilian attackers haven't always enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the English game, Damião is cut from a different cloth than many of his countrymen. 

His robust style would seem to make him a perfect fit for Spurs, who have already had offers of £12 and £18 million turned down by Internacional. While those are lofty figures, it is understandable that Inter wish to cash in fully on one of their prize assets. 

If André Villas-Boas really wants to add Damião to his squad, then, he'll need the full backing of the Tottenham accountants. Spurs are rumoured to be readying one last bid of £20 million to sign their prize target before the transfer window slams shut.

Will it be enough? Anything up to £25 million would represent decent value, given the striker's quality and potential for further development. It's not often you get the chance to sign one of Brazil's first choice strikers, after all.


Read more from Brazilian football expert Jack Lang here.