Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Brazilian starlet Gabriel Barbosa
By Sky Sports Scout - Tweet me: @skysportscout
Last Updated: 21/05/14 12:18pm
Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe, in partnership with Wyscout, looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.
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NAME: Gabriel Barbosa
AGE: 17 (30th August, 1996)
BORN: Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
FACTS:Made his debut at 16
Sky Sports Scout Ratings:
0-10 - No hoper
11-20 - Should look elsewhere
21-30 - Might not make it
31-40 - Has work to do
41-50 - Keep an eye on him
51-60 - Great prospect
61-70 - On his way to the top
71-80 - Already World-class
The latest player to be spotlighted is Brazilian starlet Gabriel Barbosa.
The scout reports...
Known as 'Gabigol' because of his goalscoring feats, Gabriel Barbosa is the latest Brazilian wonderkid to emerge from the Santos stable.
Already labelled the new Neymar, Gabriel is causing a huge stir in Brazilian football. He is under the management of the famed agent Wagner Ribeiro, who claims that the youngster has already scored some 600 goals for Santos at various levels, hence his nickname.
Born in Sao Paulo, he began playing footballer as soon as he could walk and it was during a game of Futsal aged just eight that he was spotted playing by Santos legend Zito, who introduced him to the club.
His progress through the youth section has been a rapid one and by the age of 14 he was being called up by Brazil as news of his talent spread.
Just after his 16th birthday, he was handed his first professional contract by Santos, which included a near £50million buy-out clause.
Months after signing his deal, he was promoted into the first team squad and he made his full debut in May. His first goal arrived just before his 17th birthday.
The following season found Gabriel as a firm member of the first team as he benefited from Neymar's departure and claimed six goals in nine starts.
Clubs are already keeping close checks on him, but they may be wasting their time - not because Santos will fend off any bids, which they probably will, but because Barcelona have already secured first-option on him.
As part of the Neymar deal, Barcelona were wise to strike a deal for options on three further Santos players, including Gabriel, whose progress looks to be rivalling that of his former team-mate.
However, whilst he is a striker like Neymar, he is not a like-for-like copy of the Barca star, indeed it could be argued he is more reminiscent of a player like Hulk or Sergio Aguero, but one thing is for sure, the talent is already there to see.
Gabriel often comes out wide to collect before breaking into the box and using his clinical left foot, although he is two-footed. The same height as Neymar, standing 5ft 9in, he has a bigger frame which seemingly allows him to ride challenges a bit better and more often.
His speed and skill are, like most Brazilians, without fault which clearly stems from his days on the Futsal pitches.
He is another breathtaking talent who clearly looks set to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Santos graduates Robinho and Neymar.
The scout says...
The fact Barcelona already have first refusal on Gabriel could well play in his favour, as with Neymar, they will allow him to develop and hone his skills in Brazil before even thinking about making the move to Europe.
The Scout rating...Shooting: 8 out of 10
Passing: 8 out of 10
Tackling: 6 out of 10
Heading: 7 out of 10
Pace: 9 out of 10
Vision: 8 out of 10
Current ability: 7 out of 10
Potential ability: 10 out of 10
OVERALL SCOUT RATING: 63/80
Current value: £16million
Potential value: £80million
Your opinion...You have read our opinion of Gabriel Barbosa - now we want your views. Have you seen Gabriel in action? Do you agree with our assessment? Do you think he will make it?
Get in touch, either using the form below, email or the scout's Twitter feed - @skysportsscout.